French politics

Ten challengers, one winner

From the left to the right : Marine Le Pen, François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eva Joly, Nathalie Arthaud, Philippe Poutou, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, François Bayrou and Jacques Cheminade

Ten challengers, one winner the 6th of May. The French constitutional Court recently validated the list of the applicants to the French presidency, according to the required procedure.

Ten candidates are now authorized to run for the presidency which is few in comparison with 2007 and 2002 where there were 16. Some people won’t have the opportunity to defend their own proposals as Dominique de Villepin or Corinne Lepage, the former Jacques Chirac minister of Ecology, because of insufficient mayor’s support numbers.

 Ten official candidates who are to convince in order to be qualified for the run-off and who will get the same airtime. And now, let me introduce you all the challengers by an alphabetical order:


This is the first candidacy for this-41-year-old-professor who defines herself as a “communist Trotskyism” and who has to lead the challenge to follow Arlette Laguiller the emblematic candidate of her party, running all the presidential ballots since 1974. She will have to make the far-left voice heard, more and more marginalized and who is experiencing difficulties to go past 1% of the votes.


Third candidacy for a man who still hopes to remake his 2007 electoral performance when he got 18.5% of the polls and to be the referee of the run-off. He still hopes to be qualified for the run-off although he is still far this objective.


Real surprise of this election, Jacques Cheminade is described himself as a left-Gaullist, tackling to the “system”. Candidate in 1995, he got 0.28% of the votes. Nonetheless, Cheminade is still perceived as a neglected and controversial personality because of his personal relations with Lyndon LaRouche, famous American financer, close to the far-right


After a first attempt in 2007, the MP-mayor of Yerres (suburbs of Paris) will be able to run and defend his Gaullist vision of France, especially vis-à-vis a Europe he considers as too federalist and in which the Nations must be the driving-force. Former UMP member and founder of Debout la République (a nationalist movement), the current local representative is clearly opposed to the outgoing president and firmly in favour of a  France way out of the Eurozone.


Frontrunner of this election, in spite of a comeback of Sarkozy in the polls opinion, the former Parti socialiste First secretary announced his candidacy on March 2011. Axing his presidential bid on the youth issue, Hollande is aware of the fact he will gather his own camp and give some guarantee to not appear as an anti-Sarkozy candidate but as a man proposing a new direction for France. He will also have to give some guarantees to the ones who are wondering on his lack of ministerial experience.

EVA JOLY (site :

Designated as candidate on July 2011, it will not be easy for the former magistrate to put the ecology theme forward in the framework of this campaign. Moreover, she is strongly challenged by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Front de gauche (Left Front) candidate.


The current Front National (far-right) leader has two objectives: remaking the 2002 father’s performance (16.5% of the polls) and erasing the 2007 humiliation (11% of the polls). The far right leader is still thinking about the run-off although the recent polls seem to be put her aside.


This is the revelation of this campaign. Currently getting 10 – 11% of the polls, the former socialist senator and minister, current MEP and Front de gauche leader seems to be popular within this election. The question is to know if the Melenchon presence is an asset or a problem for the French left and for François Holllande, particularly.


Manufacturer at Ford’s, Philippe Poutou will have to succeed Olivier Besancenot, the charismatic and famous postman, former NPA (anti-capitalist party) spoke-person and candidate who got 4-5% of the vote during the previous presidential campaigns.


Running for a second term, Nicolas Sarkozy knows his second campaign will be very different in comparison with the previous one, because of his outcome he has to defend and assume. Nonetheless, the outgoing candidate did not say his last word and will keep campaigning as the recent opinion polls show.

With this presentation, it is a new phase of the campaign which is starting although clearly upset by the Toulouse shootings at the beginning of the week. For the moment, they are ten. At the end, there will be one left!