Hervé Morin, the former minister of Defence and current Nouveau Centre (New Centre) president, announced his withdrawal of the French presidential race, the last Wednesday, estimating he should not persist. Just after, he officialised his support to Nicolas Sarkozy, some hours before the official announcement of the outgoing president.
Hervé Morin gives up after being rebel within the ruling coalition as Christine Boutin before, the former minister of housing and current Parti Chrétien Démocrate leader (Christian Democrat Party, close to UMP). The one who wanted create the conditions of the Sarkozy’s victory via the promotion of the centrist values during the campaign will have mellowed too.
Maybe the campaign itself and the opinion polls helped him to change his mind and surrender. Indeed, the NC leader only got 1% of the polls and was almost inexistent in the political debate so far. What is more, his political “friends” within his party made the decision to back Nicolas Sarkozy instead of François Bayrou (although closer to him, ideologically speaking).
The Hervé Morin’s support to Nicolas Sarkozy is finally logical and showing the particularity of the French centre-right once again, that is to say weak electorally speaking and linked to the UMP to exist, as for his ancestor, the Union pour la Démocratie française (UDF) vis-à-vis the RPR (currently the UMP) in the past. For instance, some of the NC members are ruling for the legislative elections in June and are simply afraid of undergoing the consequences of a Morin candidacy for the presidential election especially if it provokes some damages for Nicolas Sarkozy!
The withdrawal of Morin will undoubtedly give new arguments for some people considering the centre-right as having no courage and preferring compromises, not to say political deals to get some positions and appointments. This withdrawal is also good news for François Bayrou. Coming from the centrist circle of influence, the Mouvement démocrate (Democratic Mouvement) leader will be able to draw his strategy on the criticism of the two-party system putting the other political movement aside. Moreover, he will still argue that he never denied his convictions in comparison with his ex-comrades.