French politics

“I feel a wave coming”

Last Sunday, in the Journal du Dimanche, Nicolas Sarkozy declared feeling a wave coming and having to lead him ahead after the first round – the 22nd of April – and to victory on May.

The wave finally came but not as the outgoing candidate expected if it is referred to the latest opinions polls in which, according to some institutes, François Hollande is still in pole-position for the first round and largely wins for the run-off (with a-10%-gap)

The shock expected by Sarkozy and his team will have been short and not sufficient to satisfy the candidate and still the Elysée’s tenant as Le Nouvel Observateur – a French weekly – explains very well. Furthermore, some recent events as the Toulouse and Montauban shootings of the last month did not have the impact hoped by Sarkozy who wanted to appear as the candidate struggling for the Frenchs’ security and protecting them faced to the coming challenges.

 Just one week before the first round, the situation seems worrying although the Sarkozy’s supporters and activists want to be confident and mobilize themselves. The Nicolas Sarkozy’s team campaign and the UMP also want to be confident even if some are more and more difficulties to hide their concerns. What is more some members begin to criticize the implemented strategy of Sarkozy which consisted to have a very conservative approach at the beginning (to attract the Marine Le Pen’s voters) to come back on a more centrist approach (to catch the François Bayrou’s supporters), just before the first round.

Nicolas Sarkozy will have to be ahead and leave Hollande standing and get a good votes reports for Marine Le Pen and Bayrou voters – as five years ago – if he wants to be re-elected the 6th of May. The outgoing president is clearly aware of this but such a challenge is more and more complicated to succeed all the more so as the Marine Le Pen’s voters do not want to be cheated once again and the François Bayrou’s supporters are not the same in comparison with 2007. What is more, the Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s breakthrough, the radical left candidate, seems to be the best news for François Hollande ever.

That’s probably explains why Bernard Cazeneuve, MP and mayor of Cherbourg-Octeville (Lower Normandy) and François Hollande’s spokesperson was teasing Nicolas Sarkozy, comparing him to Brice, the main character of a French movie “Brice de Nice” (translated in English by “The Brice Man”), a guy waiting for a wave to surf although the Mediterranean Sea is not reputed for this. Finally, the wave came but not there it was expected!

PS : as I was dealing with The Brice Man, here the international trailer in which you will find “The Artist” Jean Dujardin !