Daily Archives: February 15, 2012

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After weeks of teasing the French voters Nicolas Sarkozy is set to fire the starting gun on Wednesday evening. He will, as expected, be a candidate for his job.

The rest of the field is still not settled. Marine Le Pen is having trouble securing the necessary 500 signatures from elected officials. But we should assume that, one way or another, her name will be on the ballot, along with the socialist François Hollande, the Green Eva Joly, centrist François Bayrou, left socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon, Dominique de Villepin, who might best be described as “ailleurs” (elsewhere), and one or two representatives of the more exotic fauna of French political life.

Mr Sarkozy has made something of a recovery in the polls recently, and the official launch of the campaign will probably produce a further bounce, the polls are now against him. Whatever the outcome of the crisis in Greece, it is hard to see the economic news flow favouring incumbency in the next three months. So the campaign is Mr Hollande’s to lose. But his policy efforts so far suggest he could just manage that feat.  Read more