France’s opposition Socialists are steaming ahead on the presidential campaign trail by staging an unprecedented primary poll, set to begin on Sunday. Going down a storm with voters, the move has forced President Sarkozy’s party onto the back foot.
Six nominees, three televised debates and some 3.2 million euros later, the French Socialist Party is ready to hold its first ever primary poll. Instead of asking only party members to choose the Socialist candidate for the 2012 presidential election, they’ve opened the question to the public.
Primaries: a novelty to France
A primary vote is a way for a political party to select their presidential candidate.
Instead of party members-only voting for their preferred nominee, the question is open to members of the public who share political allegiance with the party in question.
Nominees must announce their intention to run in order to be voted for.
The concept has never been employed for a major election in France because of fears that the internal struggle may divide, and therefore weaken, a party.
Date created : 2011-10-07