Econintersect: Francois Hollande has defeated the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy by a narrow but comfortable margin in the French presidential election today (6 May 2012). Sarkozy conceded the election only minutes after the polls closed. Hollande is a Socialist (the name of his party) and Sarkozy is a conservative (Union for a Popular Movement). See the video later (also today’s Video of the Day for Econintersect) for a presentation of the platform on which Hollande ran. CBS News says that the election heralded a change in how Europe will approach the debt crisis and France’s military and diplomatic activity around the world. Bloomberg Businessweek says that there will be no radical changes.
The election was actually closer than predicted, with the final margin expected to be around 4-5%. From CBS News:
Partial official results, with about half of the nationwide votes counted, showed Hollande with 50.8 percent compared to 49.2 percent for Sarkozy. The CSA, TNS-Sofres and Ipsos polling agencies predicted that Hollande will win with 51.8 percent to 53 percent, compared with 47 percent to 48.2 percent for Sarkozy. They made projections based on the vote count at select voting stations around the country.
There are reasons that Businessweek indicates that no radical change is likely is the nature of the vote. First, with only 52-53% of the vote Hollande cannot proclaim he has been given a mandate. The second reason is that the victory was more a vote against Sarkozy than a vote for Hollande:
A poll taken by survey group Ifop during the first-round vote on April 22 showed that 73 percent of Hollande voters supported him because they wanted to punish Sarkozy. Only 44 percent said they agreed with Hollande’s ideas.
Bloomberg Businessweek also gives another reason, saying that Hollande is no radical:
Hollande himself is no firebrand Socialist. He’s a graduate of one of the country’s top business schools and has praised the market-friendly policies of Britain’s Labor Party. While calling for tax hikes on big companies, he has proposed tax reductions for smaller businesses.
The following video discusses the platform on which Hollande ran his campaign:
- Hollande defeats Sarkozy in French election/ (AP, CBS News, 2:43pm 6 May 2012)
- Hollande’s Win: No Radical Change For France (Caol Matlack, Bloomberg Businessweek, 6 May 2012)