Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

i Gracias, Gabo i

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Weibo win over US investors?

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

  • Captain not at helm when ship listed, South Korean officials say

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

France

Sarkozy party seeks winning strategy for 2012 vote

©

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2011-09-05

Nicolas Sarkozy has yet to declare that he will seek re-election in 2012. But at his UMP party's "summer school" in Marseille, party leader Jean-François Copé (pictured) has already called for the president to win another five years in office.

Jean-François Copé, the head of France's ruling conservatives, has urged UMP party members to rally behind efforts to hand President Nicolas Sarkozy another five years in office.

In a keynote speech on Saturday, Copé told a boisterous crowd in Marseille that there was no time to lose in launching the race for next year's presidential election. “I ask you to give every second you can spare to convincing the French that Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election is essential,” Copé said.

“I agree, I think we need to get ready,” said Alexander Cournol, a representative of the UMP youth movement in the United States, who travelled from Washington for the event. Cournol also backed Copé's call for party unity, after the start of the conference saw some UMP leaders go off script and criticise the French president.

Crisis of confidence

The repeated calls to rally behind France's unpopular president are indicative of the difficulties Sarkozy faces as he seeks to secure another mandate. Recent surveys suggest the UMP's champion has recovered some support among conservative voters, but his approval rating among French voters as a whole is still hovering around a low 30%.

The lack of confidence in Sarkozy has spread among some UMP lawmakers, according to Jerome Saint-Marie, director of public opinion studies at the French polling agency CSA. “They have hesitated to affirm their support because they are worried about losing their own seats,” said Saint-Marie. “There are deep-seated doubts among MPs.”

Campaign strategy

“We still have to build the route to victory,” Copé recognised on Saturday as he outlined some of the early points of the party's campaign strategy.

Copé said the party would be touting Sarkozy's record since he took office in 2007, highlighting university and pension reforms as well as France's interventions in Libya and Ivory Coast.

But the dire state of France's economy is likely to take centre-stage.

The UMP has rushed to position itself as a fiscally responsible party, pledging to cut spending in a bid to slash the country's spiralling debt and save its triple-A credit rating.

Party members in Marseille took it in turns to rail against the economic policies of the opposition Socialist Party, which has vowed to raise taxes on high earners in an effort to plug the deficit and sustain public spending.

"The Socialist party is choosing to tax and spend. We are making the choice of the reduction of public spending. We are making the choice of responsibility and credibility," said Bruno Le Maire, the agriculture minister.

Le Maire, who has been tasked with shaping the party's campaign platform, said the UMP's plan for France wouldn't cost "a single extra cent".
 

Date created : 2011-09-04

  • FRENCH POLITICS

    Sarkozy's scattered forces close ranks in Marseille

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Sarkozy says G20 must help global economy

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    With an eye to 2012, Sarkozy party turns to its base

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)