Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian "evidence" into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Syria: Former hostages recount 10-month ordeal

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Alexis Tsipras, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, European Left Party

Read more

FOCUS

'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fascist finger-pointing

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Russia vows to respond if 'attacked' in Ukraine

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

  • Photos link ‘little green men’ in Ukraine to Russian troops

    Read more

  • New anti-radicalisation plans aimed at fighting jihadism

    Read more

  • David Moyes sacked by Man United after just 10 months

    Read more

  • Hollande facing mounting pressure over Syrian refugees

    Read more

France

'Third man' rocks boat in French Socialist primaries

©

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2011-10-10

Unexpectedly coming in third, Arnaud Montebourg holds many of the cards that will decide the second round of the French Socialist Party’s primaries, a battle between centrist François Hollande and left-leaning Martine Aubry.

An unexpected wildcard has been thrown into the battle for the French Socialist Party (PS) presidential nomination - in the form of anti-globalisation candidate Arnaud Montebourg.

Montebourg came third with 17% in Sunday’s US-style primaries, after favourite François Hollande (39%) and the PS First Secretary Martine Aubry (30%).

Already ahead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the polls, left-of-centre Hollande had been looking for a clear mandate ahead of next year’s presidential elections, which France’s socialists have continually lost since 1988.

But with none of the candidates taking more than 50% of the vote, the primaries will go to a second round next weekend.

The rise of Montebourg

Montebourg’s result was particularly surprising as only one month ago polls gave him just 5% of the vote, according to Jean-Marc Lech, director of international polling and research company IPSOS.

Montebourg is standing on a far-left anti-globalisation platform. He has also called for the state to take greater ownership of banks and wants crackdowns on tax havens.

“Just in the last week his poll rating went up to 11%,” Lech told France 24 on Monday. “And then he took to the stage with Martine Aubry [who is closer to him politically] last week. He has a political style that the French like, and he has policies that appeal to the far left of the Socialist Party.”

According to FRANCE 24 Political Editor Roselyn Febvre, Hollande is the last person to whom Montebourg would lend his support as their political differences are complemented by a mutual dislike.

Wake-up call for Hollande

The result has been a huge humiliation for former presidential candidate Segolene Royal – but also a wake-up call for Hollande, whom Lech said was “resting on his laurels”.

“Hollande has made the big mistake of behaving like he has already won next year’s presidential election,” said Lech, adding that Royal (7%) was “spouting the same old lines as she did back in 2007”.

“Montebourg’s success is going to be a big headache for Hollande, because his supporters will naturally switch to Aubry.

“Hollande needs to be seen to embrace and embody the values of the left, and to show that Aubry is yet another unelectable Socialist candidate. And he only has a week to do it.”

Hollande is likely to count on the support of the 5% who voted for the more centrist Manuel Valls, and will look to scoop the 7% who voted for his previous partner and the failed 2007 election candidate Segolene Royal.

On Monday Hollande told RTL radio that he expects to win next weekend’s runoff vote “by a small margin”.

Sarkozy’s UMP to hold primaries in future?

Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party is keeping a close eye on the primaries, with commentators suggesting that the high turnout and the boost they are giving to the PS could be shared across the political spectrum.

UMP Member of Parliament Jacques Myard told FRANCE 24 on Monday that nothing could be ruled out for the following elections in 2017.

“What is certain is that we are seeing a new way of doing politics that seems, for the moment, to be working," he said. "We will have to see how the second round plays out, however, and I think we are likely to see many more divisions appear between the two main candidates.”

Date created : 2011-10-10

  • France

    Hollande holds early lead in Socialist primaries

    Read more

  • France

    One million voters turn out for French Socialist presidential primary

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Socialists spar in final debate before primaries

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)