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The most important European elections of 2012

Published on March 19, 2012 by: in: Politics

April 22nd and May 6th are those days when French will be choosing their next president.

Two words are going to be prominent during the 2012 election campaign – crisis and style. French will expect from the candidates to have formulas for overcoming the economic stagnation and the improvement of living conditions.  Immigration and security, which had played an essential role during 2007 elections, will now fade into the background.  Leadership style will be more important than ever.

photo: Xavier Buaillon

photo: Xavier Buaillon

Two months before the elections, the candidate of socialists – François Hollande – leads the field with clear advantage over the serving president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande’s trump – relatively low “fatigue” on the political scene (although he has been leading The Socialist Party for 10 years) – is, at the same time, his greatest drawback. The socialists’ candidate has never done any important duty in the executive departments.

Nicolas Sarkozy is said to be a politician, who works best in the time of crisis.  French rate highly his actions in the time of crisis and his foreign policy competence.  The source of his unpopularity is his style – flaunting with his acquaintances with celebrities and rich people, “American” life style, unstabilized personal life (he divorced his second wife in the second year of his term) as also such excess as the attempt of offering his 23-year-old son to become the head of the business district, La Défense.

The field of the most important candidates is complemented by: Marine Le Pen (16-18% support) – the continuator of her father’s, Jean-Marie, political achievements and François Bayrou (13-15% support) – pro-European centrist, who counts on better results than the ones from 2007, when he gained 19% of support, yet he almost faced runoffs.  Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the candidate of far-left party, is growing in strength. In some opinion polls he exceeded 10%.

A few candidates from radical right and left complete the field.  However, there will not be a “Polish accent” this time as Frederic Nihous, the candidate of Polish origins, representing the “Hunting, Fishing, Nature, Tradition” party did not get the  sufficient number of votes (1.15% in 2007).

Who is going to be the first one on the electoral line?

Translation: Piotr Gmitrowicz

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About Wojciech Bialozyt

Graduate of Ecole Internationale des Sciences Politiques. He was an intern in the office of the European Parliament member Miquel Mayol and Raynal (ERC) and a consultant of the Regional Centre of European Information in Katowice. He took part in the observatory mission of the OSCE during the presidential elections in Ukraine in 2004, in 2006 he represented Poland on the UN conference ‘European youth Leadership Summit’. He works in the consulting company in Warsaw.

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