[lbo-talk] French electorate splits into two tribes of young and old

tfast tfast at yorku.ca
Mon May 7 21:37:04 PDT 2007

It is interesting though if you look at the numbers many are not huge majorities 60-40 splits. Yet the writer concludes that Royal won among the younger cohort (58%) but that still leaves 42% that supported Sarko. French operatives are going to miss the prize if they discount that 42%. What all these analyses fail to offer is an explanation of why similar such shifts have occurred across Europe and North America. The particularities of France just are not that interesting. Sarko's message was perfect an old France for the old a new France for the generation of the unemployed. Almost Clintonian no?

> http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article2521658.ece
> By John Lichfield
> Published: 08 May 2007
> A typical Sarkozy voter was a male shopkeeper in his sixties in a rural
> town in eastern or southern France. A typical Royal voter was a young
> woman student in a west or south-west city.
> The sociological and regional division of France into the tribes of
> "Sarko" and "Ségo" is fascinating - and defies some of the conventional
> wisdom about the presidential campaign.
> Mme Royal, the Socialist candidate, dismissed by the Right as the
> candidate of the past, scored heavily among the young and the
> middle-aged (with the exception of those aged 25 to 34). In an election
> restricted to French voters aged 18 to 59, Mme Royal would have won
> handsomely. M. Sarkozy owes his victory to a "wrinkly" landslide with an
> overwhelming triumph among French voters in their sixties (61 per cent
> of the vote) and a jackpot among the over-seventies (68 per cent).
> The centre-right candidate promised to put France "back to work" and
> create a new, more dynamic future. His greatest appeal - paradoxically -
> was to people over retirement age. They were swayed not by his promises
> of a New France but his appeals to the "moral" values of an Old France,
> and especially his tough rhetoric on crime, immigration and national
> identity.
> The regional breakdown is also fascinating. Mme Royal topped the poll in
> a group of départements [counties] in central and south-west France and
> Brittany. She also won in two of the suburban départements east of Paris
> and in the Pas de Calais. "Ségoland" in the west and south-west
> coincides roughly with her own fiefdom in Poitou-Charente and the
> traditional left-wing bastions of Brittany and the south-west. But her
> territory also covers some of France's most dynamic and forward-looking
> cities such as Toulouse, Nantes and Rennes.
> M. Sarkozy did well in Normandy and the north but he picked up his
> largest scores - up to 68 per cent of the vote - in the former far-right
> bastions of Alsace and the Côte d'Azur. "Sarkoland" covers two thirds of
> France but its heartlands are the permanently reactionary and "grumpy"
> départements along France's eastern borders.
> In sociological terms, the vote was relatively predictable. Mme Royal
> won among students, public-sector employees, blue-collar workers and the
> unemployed. M. Sarkozy won among private-sector employees, small
> businessmen, professionals, farmers and the managerial classes. He won
> an absolute landslide - 82 per cent - among shop-keepers and small
> tradespeople who suffer from the highly-taxed and bureaucratic French
> economy.
> According to an Ipsos poll, M. Sarkozy won among both men and women. Mme
> Royal did better (48 per cent) among women than men (46 per cent). The
> generational schisms revealed by the poll are striking. The "internet"
> generation of 18- to 24-year-olds voted 58 per cent for Mme Royal. The
> 25- to 34-year-olds voted 57 per cent for M. Sarkozy. The "May 1968"-
> Mitterrand generation of 45- to 59-year-olds voted 55 per cent for Mme
> Royal. The 35 to 44 generation split 50-50.
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