2007 French presidential election

← 2002 22 April 2007 (first round)
6 May 2007 (second round)
2012 →
Turnout83.77% (first round) Increase12.17 pp
83.97% (second round) Increase4.26 pp
 
Nominee Nicolas Sarkozy Ségolène Royal
Party UMP PS
Popular vote 18,983,138 16,790,440
Percentage 53.06% 46.94%


President before election

Jacques Chirac
UMP

Elected President

Nicolas Sarkozy
UMP

Presidential elections were held in France on 21 and 22 April 2007 to elect the successor to Jacques Chirac as president of France (and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra) for a five-year term. As no candidate received a majority of the vote, a second round was held on 5 and 6 May 2007 between the two leading candidates, Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal. Sarkozy was elected with 53% of the vote.

Sarkozy and Royal both represented a generational change. Both main candidates were born after World War II,[1] along with the first to have seen adulthood under the Fifth Republic, and the first not to have been in politics under Charles de Gaulle.

Schedule

Electoral system

Transparent ballot boxes have been required since 1988.
Some French cities used voting machines.

For the first time in a presidential election, electronic voting was introduced in some areas, having been authorised in 2004. They were introduced in only 82 of 36,000 voting districts, and were criticised by a number of people, both on the left and on the right.[6] A petition against them has also been made (see Wikinews:Electronic voting disputed in France).

Using the three colours of the national flag (blue, white, and red) on electoral advertisements or partisan documentation was prohibited by electoral regulations.[7] Ségolène Royal contended that the book Ensemble ("together") published by Nicolas Sarkozy, whose cover is blue, white and red,[8] was effectively an electoral partisan documentation and should have been covered by this prohibition.[9]

Candidates

Requirements

Reference: Constitutional Council, FAQ

Further information: President of the French Republic

The requirements for being successfully nominated as a candidate are defined by the organic law of 6 November 1962.[10]

All candidates must be of French nationality and at least 23 years old (the same requirement as for the candidates to the National Assembly).

Candidates must obtain signatures from 500 elected officials (mayors, members of Parliament, elected representatives) supporting their candidacy. These signatures from elected officials (informally known in French as parrainages, but legally known as "presentations") must be from at least 30 departments or overseas territories, and no more than 10 percent can be from any individual department. A presentation from an elected official does not imply the official supports the policies of the candidate, but rather that this official considers the candidate to be a serious candidate.

Candidates must also submit a statement with details of their personal assets.

The Constitutional Council published the official candidate list on 20 March 2007. The candidates were listed in a randomised order. This order was used for the official campaign: thus, posters for Olivier Besancenot were always be on the No. 1 board, those for Marie-George Buffet on the No. 2 board, etc., regardless of where in France the boards were located.

There were 12 candidates for the 2007 election.[4]

Leading candidates

Four candidates consistently registered over 10% in the opinion polls and were regarded as having a reasonable chance of reaching the second round.[11]

Other candidates

These were the eight other candidates who obtained the required 500 signatures from elected officials to endorse their candidacy.

Confirmed non-candidates

Did not get enough endorsements

Campaign

The election campaign raised a number of issues:

Officially proposed policies

Endorsements

French personalities

Approximately 200 French intellectuals expressed support for Ségolène Royal. These included the philosopher Étienne Balibar (a student of Louis Althusser),[27] the editor François Maspero, the historian Pierre Rosanvallon, the psychoanalyst Fethi Benslama, the philosopher Jacques Bouveresse, the sociologist Robert Castel, the philosopher Catherine Colliot-Thélène, the writer Chloé Delaume, the historian Michel Dreyfus, the anthropologist Françoise Héritier, the sculptor Françoise Jolivet, the film-maker Roy Lekus, the sociologist Eric Macé, the philosopher Pierre Macherey, the philosopher Jean-Claude Monod the artist Ariane Mnouchkine, the economist Yann Moulier-Boutang (involved with Multitudes), the historian Gérard Noiriel, the historian Pascal Ory, the historian Michelle Perrot, the economist Thomas Piketty, the historian Benjamin Stora, the anthropologist Emmanuel Terray, the lawyer Michel Tubiana (former president of the Human Rights League), and the sociologist Loïc Wacquant (a student of Pierre Bourdieu).[43]

Régis Debray called to vote first for a far-left candidate, then Royal in the second round.[19]

On the other hand, the so-called Nouveaux Philosophes were split on their support. André Glucksmann called to vote Sarkozy,[44] while Bernard-Henri Lévy voted for Ségolène Royal.[45] Max Gallo, who had supported the left-wing Republican Jean-Pierre Chevènement in 2002, joined Sarkozy five years later.[46] Pascal Bruckner and Alain Finkielkraut have also proved close to Sarkozy, although they did not declare support for him, but Sarkozy did support Finkielkraut after controversial statements made in Haaretz newspaper following the 2005 civil unrest.[47] According to the journalist Jacques Julliard, the support of some French intellectuals for the 2003 invasion of Iraq is the root of their rallying to Sarkozy, following the creation of the review titled Le Meilleur des mondes (Brave New World). Pascal Bruckner, historian Stéphane Courtois, Thérèse Delpech, André Glucksmann, Romain Goupil, Pierre-André Taguieff, Olivier Rollin, and Pierre Rigoulot are frequent contributors to this review.

Tennis player Yannick Noah called to vote for Royal, while Sarkozy obtained the support of singers Johnny Hallyday, Mireille Mathieu and Faudel, of rapper Doc Gyneco, and former politician and current actor Bernard Tapie. He also had the support of actors Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, both residing in Neuilly-sur-Seine where Sarkozy was the mayor between 1983 and 2002[48] and of Gérard Depardieu. But also of industrialist Martin Bouygues, whose children attended the same school as Sarkozy's offspring.[48] The humourist Dieudonné and the writer Alain Soral supported Jean-Marie Le Pen. Actress Juliette Binoche supported José Bové.

The song Elle est facho (She's a fascist) on the Rouge Sang album by singer Renaud released in 2006 gained particular media attention for lyrics in the last verse that translate as "she's a fascist and votes Sarko"[49]

Prominent political commentator Alain Duhamel was suspended in 2006 after a video was published on DailyMotion, where he stated his personal intentions of voting for François Bayrou.

International support

Abroad, Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, gave his support to Sarkozy immediately following the first round, while Romano Prodi, the then Italian premier and leader of the centre-left Union coalition, called for an alliance between Bayrou and Royal.[50]

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has shown his support for Royal.[51]

European commissioner and Vice-President Margot Wallström was criticised after she informally suggested support for Royal on her blog, celebrating the fact that a woman got into the second round. She said: "J'étais si contente de voir qu'une femme participera au deuxième tour de l‘élection présidentielle!" (I was so happy to see that a woman would be participating in the second round of the presidential election!)[52] Commissioners are not meant to be politically biased in elections under their code of conduct.[53] Wallström is a social-democrat, like Royal. José Manuel Barroso, the head of the European Commission, has privately discussed the idea of forming a "strategic partnership" with Mr. Sarkozy.[54]

Many U.S. pundits and western economists expressed support for Nicolas Sarkozy. Steve Forbes devoted several columns in the influential financial publication FORBES Magazine.[55] The London-based magazine The Economist also expressed support for Sarkozy's economic platform [citation needed].

Alleged Libyan financial contributions to Sarkozy

Main article: Alleged Libyan financing in the 2007 French presidential election

In 2011, according to the son of the Libyan leader Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, Sarkozy was provided with financial support from Libya during the presidential election.[56] In 2012, Mediapart published material revealing Gaddafi's financial support to Nicolas Sarkozy for the election.[57]

In March 2018 Sarkozy was charged for corruption.[58]

Opinion polls

A pro-Sarkozy sticker, after being defaced, in Paris, France. (Translation: "Together, NOTHING is possible.")

French law prohibits publishing the results of opinion polls related to the election during the day of the election and the preceding day, so as to prevent undue influencing of the vote.[59] No estimate can be given before Sunday 8 pm, when the last voting office closes and official counts begin to be released. However, media from neighbouring countries, which are not bound by these regulations, have long broadcast estimates (Télévision Suisse Romande in particular). In 2007, the issue took a particular importance because of the generalisation of blogs and Internet pages. Journalist Jean-Marc Morandini stirred turmoil when he announced his intention of publishing results on his blog as soon as 18:00.[60] Another problem was that the results from the voting offices in the Americas (consulates and French overseas possessions) were counted on Saturday night,[61] and some began circulating rumours as to these results.

Main article: Opinion polling for the 2007 French presidential election

First round

Second round

Results

The first round saw a very high turnout of 83.8% – 36.7 million of the 44.5 million electorate voted from a population of 64.1 million (not including French people living abroad).[62][63][64] The results of that round saw Sarkozy and Royal qualify for the second round with Sarkozy getting 31% and Royal 26%. François Bayrou came third (19%) and Jean-Marie Le Pen fourth (10%), unlike in 2002 when Le Pen got a surprising 16.9% and qualified for the second round.[65]

Immediately after the first round's results were made official, four defeated left-wing candidates – José Bové, Marie-George Buffet, Arlette Laguiller and Dominique Voynet – urged their supporters to vote for Royal.[66] This was the first time since 1981 that Laguiller had endorsed the Socialist Party's candidate.[67] Olivier Besancenot called his supporters to vote against Sarkozy.[68] Frédéric Nihous and Gérard Schivardi never officially supported either Royal or Sarkozy. Philippe de Villiers called for a vote for Sarkozy.[69] Le Pen told his voters to "abstain massively" in the second round.[70]

On 25 April, Bayrou declared he would not support either candidate in the runoff,[71] and announced he would form a new political party called the Democratic Movement. He criticised both major candidates, and offered to debate them. Royal agreed to hold a televised debate, while Sarkozy offered to have a private discussion but not a televised debate.[72]

By around 6:15 pm local time on 6 May, Belgian and Swiss news sources such as Le Soir,[73] RTBF,[74] La Libre Belgique[75] and La Tribune de Genève[76] had announced Nicolas Sarkozy as the winner of the second round, citing preliminary exit poll data. The final CSA estimate showed him winning with 53% of the votes cast. Royal conceded defeat to Sarkozy that evening.[77]

First-round results by department
  Nicolas Sarkozy
  Ségolène Royal
  François Bayrou
CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes%Votes%
Nicolas SarkozyUnion for a Popular Movement11,448,66331.1818,983,13853.06
Ségolène RoyalSocialist Party9,500,11225.8716,790,44046.94
François BayrouUnion for French Democracy6,820,11918.57
Jean-Marie Le PenNational Front3,834,53010.44
Olivier BesancenotRevolutionary Communist League1,498,5814.08
Philippe de VilliersMovement for France818,4072.23
Marie-George BuffetFrench Communist Party707,2681.93
Dominique VoynetThe Greens576,6661.57
Arlette LaguillerWorkers' Struggle487,8571.33
José BovéMiscellaneous left/environmentalist483,0081.32
Frédéric NihousHunting, Fishing, Nature and Traditions420,6451.15
Gérard SchivardiWorkers' Party123,5400.34
Total36,719,396100.0035,773,578100.00
Valid votes36,719,39698.5635,773,57895.80
Invalid/blank votes534,8461.441,568,4264.20
Total votes37,254,242100.0037,342,004100.00
Registered voters/turnout44,472,83483.7744,472,73383.97
Source: Constitutional Council (First round  · Second round)

First round and analysis

Nationwide, Nicolas Sarkozy obtained 31% and Ségolène Royal 26% – while in 2002, Jacques Chirac had obtained 20%, and Lionel Jospin 16.18%. The right-of-centre François Bayrou obtained 18.6% this time, nearly tripling his 2002 result (6.8%). National Front (FN) candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, made only 10.4%, compared to his stunning 16.9% finish in 2002. Along with the April–May shift to the far right made by Sarkozy, this has led many commentators to allege that traditional voters of the FN had been tempted by Sarkozy.[78][23] On a global scale, the left-wing reached 36% of the votes, against 19% for the "centre", 33% for the right wing and 11% for the far right.

Other candidates received a much lower share of the vote than they had in 2002, with Olivier Besancenot (Revolutionary Communist League, LCR) failing to achieve the 5% necessary to have his political campaign reimbursed by the state. Besancenot received 4.1%, compared to 4.3% in 2002. He was followed by the traditionalist Philippe de Villiers (2.2%), Communist Marie-George Buffet (1.9%, compared to 3.4% for Robert Hue in 2002), Green candidate Dominique Voynet (1.6%, compared to 5.3% for Noël Mamère in 2002), Workers' Struggle's candidate Arlette Laguiller (1.3%, compared to 5.7% in 2002), alter-globalisation candidate José Bové (1.3%), Frédéric Nihous (1.2% , against 4.2% for Jean Saint-Josse in 2002) and finally Gérard Schivardi with 0.3% (Daniel Gluckstein had achieved 0.5% in 2002). The abstention rate was 15.4%.

With an overall record turnout of 83.8%, a level not achieved since the 1965 presidential election when turnout was 84.8%, the vast majority of the electorate decided not to stay home. Most of them decided against protest votes, and chose the vote utile (tactical voting, literally "useful vote"), that is, a vote for one of the purported leaders of the electoral race (Nicolas Sarkozy, Ségolène Royal and/or François Bayrou). The "Anyone But Sarkozy" push benefited both Bayrou and Royal,[79] while the tactical voting, on the right or on the left, explains the low score of the other candidates, in contrast with the last presidential election's first round.

The electoral campaign saw a polarisation of the political scene, encapsulated by the "Anyone But Sarkozy" slogan on the left. But it also saw a reconfiguration of the political chessboard, with various left-wing figures and voters deciding to support Sarkozy against Royal, who saw opposition inside her own party. Bernard Tapie, a former Socialist, Max Gallo, who had supported left-wing Republican Jean-Pierre Chevènement in 2002, Eric Besson,[80] etc., passed on Sarkozy's side. On the other hand, some right-wing voters, upset by Sarkozy's attitude on law and order, immigration, and even genetics (his recent declarations on paedophilia, homosexuality and suicides as genetically induced, denounced by the geneticist Axel Kahn[81][82][83][84][85]), decided to vote for Bayrou. Centrist figures of the Socialist party, such as Michel Rocard and Bernard Kouchner, called for an alliance between Bayrou and Royal, which might have had consequences in the June 2007 legislative elections – these determined the parliamentary majority, and decided that France would not see another cohabitation between the President, head of state, and the Prime minister, leader of the government. Former socialist minister Claude Allègre stated such an alliance was "entirely conceivable", while Royal herself strongly criticised Rocard's comments. François Hollande, the national secretary of the Socialist Party and Ségolène Royal's partner, excluded any alliance with the centre-right, along with others left-wing leaders, such as Laurent Fabius or Dominique Voynet.[86]

By department

By region

Urban votes

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Voting booth in Vaulnaveys-le-Haut.

In urban areas, most lower and middle-income neighbourhoods and cities voted largely for Ségolène Royal. In the tenth arrondissement of Paris, Royal obtained 42% against 25% for Sarkozy, and 20.35% for Bayrou; in the 11th arrondissement, Royal obtained more than 40.8% to 25.8% for Sarkozy and 20.9% for Bayrou. In the 18th arrondissement, Royal obtained 41.1% against 23.4% for Sarkozy; in the 19th arrondissement, Royal obtained more than 39%, against almost 28% for Sarkozy; and in the 20th arrondissement, Royal obtained 42.4% against 23.2% for Sarkozy, and 18.3% for Bayrou. Royal also narrowly beat Sarkozy in the normally conservative city of Bordeaux (31.4% against 30.8%, and 22% for Bayrou), as well as in Brest, Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Nantes, Rouen, Lille, Le Mans, Montpellier, Saint-Étienne, Limoges, Amiens, Pau (where Bayrou finished first), Rennes and Toulouse (the historical base of the former Radical-Socialist Party). Working-class Paris suburbs (called les banlieues) also massively voted for Royal. This was more or less expected, in particular with the high level of voter registration by suburban youths, who had been strongly opposed to Sarkozy since the 2005 riots during which he had made controversial remarks. Meanwhile, a large number of university students had participated in the protests against the CPE, proposed by Sarkozy's UMP party, in the spring of 2006; they also strongly backed Royal. She consequently came first in Nanterre, with almost 36% against 23% for Sarkozy. She reached 41.6% in Saint-Denis, against 19.6% for Sarkozy and 15.5% for Bayrou. In Évry, she also passed the 40% line, while Sarkozy received only 23.6%. In Créteil, she won a closer race, gaining 35% to Sarkozy's 30% and 18% for Bayrou. In the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, home to many people of immigrant origin, Royal obtained 34.2% to 26.8% for Sarkozy and 16.7% for Bayrou.

In contrast, wealthy arrondissements of Paris voted for Sarkozy. The prosperous 16th arrondissement gave him 64% of its vote, against 16.4% for Bayrou and only 11.27% for Royal; the seventh arrondissement voted for 56% in favour of Sarkozy, to 20.35 for Bayrou and 15.35% for Royal; the eighth arrondissement voted at more than 58% for Sarkozy to 18.65% for Bayrou and 14% for Royal; the 15th arrondissement voted 41.5% for Sarkozy against 24.3% for Royal and 22.9% for Bayrou. The mostly wealthy Paris suburbs of the Hauts-de-Seine department, home of Neuilly-sur-Seine where Sarkozy is mayor, voted 38.3% for him, against 26% for Royal and 21.3% for Bayrou. Sarkozy also won in the Essonne department (more than 31% against 27% for Royal), in the Seine-et-Marne (33.5% to almost 24% for Royal) as well as in the Yvelines (37.7% against 23% for Royal and 22% for Bayrou).

Marseille, the second-largest city of France, went Sarkozy's way overall as he won 34.25% of the vote to 27.1% for Royal and only 14.1% for Bayrou (putting a close third ahead of Le Pen, who obtained 13.4%). However, in working-class neighbourhoods of the north of Marseille, such as Savine (15th arrondissement) and the Busserine (14th arrondissement), Royal received overwhelming support, receiving 60% of the vote in Busserine.

France's third-largest city, Lyon, also was won by Sarkozy, who received 34.5% of the vote to 27.3% for Royal and 22% for Bayrou. He triumphed as well in the wealthy city of Aix-en-Provence with 36.8%, against 25.4% for Royal and 19.8% for Bayrou. In Nice, a conservative stronghold, Sarkozy obtained more than 41% against 20.4% for Royal and less than 15% for Bayrou. Sarkozy also narrowly beat Royal in the industrial port of Le Havre (29% against 26.8%), as well as in Avignon, Nîmes, Metz, Nancy, and Strasbourg (these last three cities belonging to the Alsace-Lorraine region).

Regional votes

A map of France's departments shows the candidate of the Socialist Party, Ségolène Royal, came first in the South-West and the Massif Central, which were traditional bases of the Radical-Socialist Party during the Third Republic. She also topped the poll in Brittany, except in the department of Morbihan, but a fifth of electors in Brittany voted for Bayrou.[87] Nièvre and Seine-Saint-Denis were other departments where she came first, as well as the overseas departments of Martinique and Réunion and the overseas territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Sarkozy came first everywhere else, except for Pyrénées-Atlantiques, where Bayrou topped the poll in the department of his birth.

The left regressed, compared 2002, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, which has traditionally favored Socialist and Communist candidates. The Nord department, hit hard during the 1980s by an industrial crisis, gave a plurality to Sarkozy (29.3%), while Royal won 24.8% (and won the city of Lille) and Bayrou received 15.6%. Marie-George Buffet barely received 5% in the constituency of the Communist deputy Alain Bocquet.

The Haute-Garonne, traditional Radical-Socialist territory, voted (including its capital, Toulouse), for Ségolène Royal, giving her 33%, against less than 27% for Sarkozy and slightly more than 19% for Bayrou. The Corrèze, where Jacques Chirac began his political career as the deputy of Ussel, also voted slightly in favour of Royal, as did the Creuse, one of the least-populated departments of France.

Results of candidates with over 3% of votes in the first round, by departments of Metropolitan France.

The Alpes-Maritimes, part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region where the National Front won several cities in the 1990s (Toulon of the Var, Marignane of the Bouches-du-Rhône and Orange of the Vaucluse) voted for Sarkozy at 43.6%, while Royal received only 17.9%, Bayrou 15.0%, and Jean-Marie Le Pen 13.5%. The Vaucluse department gave 32.8% of its votes to Sarkozy, 20.9% to Royal, 16.8% to Le Pen and 15.5% to Bayrou.

The Vendée voted 29.7% for Sarkozy, 21.7% for Royal, 20.8% for Bayrou, and 11.3% for Philippe de Villiers, deputy of the department. Le Pen. meanwhile, managed only 6.5%.

Le Pen's highest departmental tallies occurred in Aisne (17.3%) and Haute-Marne (17%). Other departments to give him more than 15% were the Vaucluse (16.8%), Haute-Saône (16.5%), Meuse (16.3%), Ardennes (16.2% – where left-wing candidate Besancenot received 5.35%), Pas-de-Calais (16%), Oise (15.9%), Corse-du-Sud (15.9%), Vosges (15.7%), and Gard (15.4%),

Departments where Besancenot obtained more than 5% of the vote include Ardennes, Aisne (where Le Pen also achieved a strong results), Ariège, Allier (where Sarkozy obtained 28% against nearly 26% for Royal), Calvados (where Sarkozy finished first with 29% to 25% for Royal), Finistère, Cher, Côtes d'Armor, Creuse, Indre, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Nord, Meuse, Moselle, Pas-de-Calais (6.2%), Sarthe, Nièvre, Puy-de-Dôme, Somme, Territoire-de-Belfort, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Vienne and the overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon (6.5%, along with 5.1% for José Bové; only 6.7% for Le Pen).

The overseas department of Martinique has been strongly opposed to Sarkozy; Aimé Césaire, mayor of Fort-de-France and leader of the Négritude movement, refused to see him during his visit there in December 2005 (due to the UMP vote of the 2005 law on colonialism[88]). In the first round, it heavily supported Royal (48.5%, against 33.8% for Sarkozy and only 8.6% for Bayrou; the next highest total was received by Besancenot, with 2.5%). Réunion also strongly supported Royal (46.2%, to 25% for Sarkozy and 13% for Bayrou). Meanwhile, Sarkozy won in New Caledonia (with 49.7% of the vote) and in Guadeloupe (with 42.6%, against 38.3% for Royal), as well as in French Guiana and the overseas territories of French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.

Demographic breakdown of the first-round vote

Source: IPSOS, see Sociologie du vote du 1er tour, L'Humanité, 5 May 2007.

30% of men voted for Sarkozy, 24% of them for Royal. 32% of women voted Sarkozy, 27% Royal. 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted Royal, against 26% for Sarkozy. Sarkozy also made a higher score for 35- to 44-year-olds and 60- to 69-year-olds, but a lesser score in the 45- to 59-year-old category.

36% of farmers voted Sarkozy against 8% for Royal. Workers voted at similar levels for both Sarkozy and Royal (21% for each), while public servants voted at 34% for Royal (18% for Sarkozy). 19% of unemployed people voted for Sarkozy, 32% of them for Royal. Students also voted in majority for Royal (32% against 21%), while pensioned elders voted at 41% for Sarkozy (23% for Royal).

Second round

Results of the second round: the candidate with the majority of votes in each of the 36,784 communes of France. Nicolas Sarkozy: blue; Ségolène Royal: pink. All territories are shown at the same geographic scale.
Nicolas Sarkozy supporters celebrate on the Place de la Concorde in Paris
Supporters of Ségolène Royal awaiting the results, 8 pm, in front of the headquarters of the Socialist Party in Paris

The second round of the 2007 French presidential election started in Saint Pierre and Miquelon on Saturday 5 May 2007 at 8 am local time (2007-05-05 10:00 UTC) and ended in the large cities of Metropolitan France on Sunday, 6 May 2007 at 8 pm local time (2007-05-06 18:00 UTC). Turnout in the second round of the election was 84.0%, higher than in the first round. Nicolas Sarkozy got 53.06% of the votes and Ségolène Royal got 46.94%.

The left-right division was reinforced, according to many observers, by the election of Nicolas Sarkozy.[79] 91% of the electors self-identifying as members of the centre-left voted for Royal, and 92% of those who self-identified as centre-right voted for Sarkozy.[79] The center thus appears to have been polarized.[79] The vast majority of the dissident left also voted for Royal, while the extreme right strongly supported Sarkozy.[79] Although Jacques Chirac was successful among young electors in 1995, mostly owing to his discourse on the "social rupture" (fracture sociale), Sarkozy's electorate was more traditionally right-wing and focused on older people. The only age group that gave him a majority was the over-50, who accounted for 52% of his voters, compared to only 37% of Royal's.[79] Sarkozy obtained only 40% among those 18–24 years old, while Chirac had obtained 55% in the same category in 1995.[79]

In social categories, Sarkozy won majorities among pensioned and inactive elders (58%), business leaders, shopkeepers and craftworkers (82% ), categories which are traditionally conservative.[79] Sarkozy lost votes, compared to Chirac, among workers (59% for Royal) and employees (57% for Royal).[79]

The general electoral geography did not significantly change from the first Chirac election. However, Sarkozy received a lesser score in Corrèze, Chirac's home department, and bettered Chirac's score in the North-East, where Le Pen had obtained some of his better scores in 2002.[79] Overall, the increase in votes for Sarkozy between the two rounds occurred mostly in departments where the National Front's presence is strong.[79]

Spoilt votes represented 4.2% of the electors (as much as in 2002 and 1995).[79]

By department

By region

Abstention and spoilt votes

Abstention was exceptionally low, as well as protest votes. Blank vote (going to vote, but deliberately cancelling one's ballot, by any means possible – tearing it in two, writing Tintin on it, or anything absurd as such) is not included in official counts – i.e. it is considered a spoilt vote, counted as equivalent to abstention. A very small party, the Parti Blanc (White Party, for "white vote", i.e. blank vote) called for the official count of white votes by the state (as in None of the above systems). It organised a march in Paris on Wednesday 18 March 2007 in which only thirty people participated.[89]

Aftermath

Riots

Pro-Ségolène Royal youth chanted against Nicolas Sarkozy
A gathering of opponents to Sarkozy on Place de la Bastille in Paris, on 6 May evening, quickly ended in confrontations between the far-left and the riot control forces
Bastille tear-gassed

Thousands of youths took to the streets Sunday night following the final presidential election results. While many simply expressed their discontent at the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, others chose to engage in violent action. Riots erupted in several urban centers including the capital Paris where some of the most intense clashes were reported in the Place de la Bastille.[90] A gathering of opponents to Sarkozy there quickly ended in confrontations between the youth and the riot control forces, who tear gassed the whole place.

732 cars were torched according to estimates of the DGPN (direction of the police) and government buildings and property came under attack. Police clashed with protesters who were described by French media as members of the ultra-left and of the autonome movement or youth from the suburbs.[91] During the fighting dozens of officers were injured and 592 alleged rioters were arrested.[92] 70 people were arrested in the North department and 79 in Paris.[93] Overall the situation remained calm.

Some clashes continued on the night of Monday to Tuesday, with 365 torched cars and 160 alleged rioters detained by the police.[91] Ten people were in court already by Monday. Two of them were given firm prison sentences of six and three months respectively, and two others to 120 hours of TIG (General Interest Labour, an alternative sentence to prison).[91] Another one has been given a two-month firm prison sentence and two others TIG hours.[94] Some of the people judged in Lyon have denied any involvement in the riots (two of them received 120 hours of TIG and a 200 euros fine).[95]

300 to 400 people demonstrated on the Boulevard Saint-Michel on Wednesday 9 May, in opposition to a demonstration of white supremacists. By 9 pm that night 118 of them had been arrested.[96] A 31-year-old engineer took legal action following his release from custody claiming he had been a victim of police brutality. He claimed that he had not taken part to the demonstrations, but had been arrested nonetheless.[97]

Sarkozy's detention March 2018

On 20 March 2018, Sarkozy was arrested by the French Police because of the suspect having received 50 million euros for his presidential campaign from Muammar Gaddafi.[98]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Voting begins in presidential election in France". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2007. "Either way, France will get its first president born after World War II, since both Royal and Sarkozy are in their fifties."
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Further reading