Skip to comments.Royal tries to woo centrist vote
Posted on 04/28/2007 1:11:07 AM PDT by Cincinna
Ségolène Royal, the Socialist challenger for the French presidency, will hold a televised debate with François Bayrou on Saturday in a desperate attempt to win over the supporters of the centrist UDF leader, who came third in last Sundays first round poll.
BFM TV, an independent media group, promised to broadcast the meeting live this morning after Canal+ pulled out of the debate amid accusations that the television station had been lent on by supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy, the frontrunner from the centre-right UMP party.
Ms Royal denounced the media-financial system behind Mr Sarkozy that she claimed had tried to suppress the debate.
The French people do not want power to be confiscated from them by some media groups tied to financial powers and linked to a candidate, she said. This is not acceptable in a democracy and I believe that we must implement necessary reforms to put an end to this concentration [of power].
Mr Bayrou had earlier accused Mr Sarkozys supporters of leaning on Canal+, owned by the Vivendi group. I do not have any proof but I am certain of it, he said.
Furiously denying the charge, Mr Sarkozys supporters accused their opponents of lies and Stalinist tactics. Canal+ said that broadcasting the debate would have fallen foul of strict rules giving Mr Sarkozy and Ms Royal equal media time.
Mr Sarkozy, who has a clear lead in the polls, ridiculed his rivals decision to debate with Mr Bayrou, who has been eliminated from next Sundays run-off.
However, Ms Royal must win over most of Mr Bayrous voters if she is to have any chance of victory.
On paper, the electoral arithmetic is heavily against her. The total left vote last Sunday came to 13.2m, well short of the 16m recorded by the right. Mr Bayrous 6.8m swing voters in the middle are therefore crucial to the outcome.
Jérôme Sainte-Marie, a director of the BVA polling organisation, said the political dance between Ms Royal and Mr Bayrou this week had resembled a Marivaux comedy that might have amused people but was unlikely to have changed the dynamics of the race.
He warned that Ms Royals attempts to win over centrist voters might only drive away potential supporters on the extreme left.
Some Socialist party members have already cautioned Ms Royal against hazardous gymnastics in moving her party towards the centre.
Moreover, objectively, Mr Bayrou would appear to have little interest in helping Ms Royal win the presidency because he might then be marginalised by a resurgent Socialist party.
The UDF leader, who is creating a new party to fight the parliamentary elections in June, would benefit most from a fractured Socialist party in the wake of a Sarkozy victory enabling him to emerge as the leader of a social democratic opposition.
Jean-Louis Bourlanges, a UDF politician, said Mr Bayrou was intent on shattering the false union in the Socialist party between Marxist palaeosocialists and social democrats.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
New polls out today will show no change with Sarko beating Royal 53-47>
Royal needs to hire that Democrat consultant, George Lakoff (rhymes with....) to teach her how to lie better.
This is an excellent analysis from the Right-leaning British newspaper, The Financial Times
Oddly, and happily, whoever wins will be an marked improvement.
"I do not have any proof but I am certain of it,"...a statement used by many a global warming demagogue, as well as many an opponent of the War on Terror.
I’m still wondering if there’s any American ‘Rat involvement in this election. Any aid and/or money from them going to Royal.
Why would anyone put a loser like Bayrou on the air at all? He placed third. A debate with him is irrelevant.
An interesting article on this. A little dated but still insightful.
Yes, clearly Bayrou is out for himself, preparing for the next elections.
Royal is flailing around desperately, making a fool of herself. “Some Socialist party members have already cautioned Ms Royal against ‘hazardous gymnastics’ in moving her party towards the centre.”
My French is rusty, but I like the picture of “Les gymnastiques hazardeux d’une gauche caviare.”
Royal would be much worse than Chirac.
I’m curious about that equal time rule. Does this now mean that Sarko gets an hour (or whatever length of time Royal was on with Bayrou) of free air time?
This might turn out to be an advantage.
Equal time rules are only for giving socialists more access to the media.
Thanks for the heads up on this article.
Of course, one has to take into account that this is Salon.com. Anti-Sarko, anti-Rudy, anti- conservative, anti GOP.
For France in decline, Sarko is just what the doctor ordered. Will the French fill the prescription and swallow the truth? Stay tuned.