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EU 2007 French presidential elections: towards an election full of surprises / Upcoming German EU presidency: the reasons why it is doomed to impotence

During the first semester  of 2007, two major events for the EU will combine.  In fact, European authorities believe that that semester will be key in re-launching  the broken down EU: on the one hand, the French presidential  election, and on the other hand, the German presidency  of the EU. However LEAP/E2020 anticipates that the French election is most likely to provoke some surprises and to disappoint the European expectations placed in it. While the German EU presidency has already set for itself unreachable goals.

French presidential elections 2007 (April 22 and May  6): towards an election full of surprises

Of course, it is always difficult to anticipate electoral results one year ahead; this is not the aim of LEAP/E2020 anyway. In line with the rest of its analyses, LEAP/E2020 intends to identify tendencies in the public opinion likely to indicate that the scenarios built up by French political analysts or foreign observers, are already null and void. First of all, the upcoming French presidential elections should be seen in the light of two heavy  trends  that have  been  affecting  all other  European  democracies recently: on the one hand, a general distrust of main parties (and party leaders) in place (so-called “governmental” rights and lefts); and on the other hand, a related temptation among European populations to give their main parties extremely tight races (as it was the case in Germany and Italy).

These preliminary remarks lead to a first conclusion: pollsters’ forecasting capacity is limited, as in both Italian and German cases (and in France, in the case of the European constitutional referendum and of the2002 presidential election), the trends they predicted were systematically way off reality, at least the results they published 4 to 5 months before the election (sometimes  even a few weeks before, as in the case of the German, Italian and French presidential elections)…

Read more in the GEAB No 5 / 16.05.2006

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