25 April 2017

French Elections I

French Elections, part 1

We got to France in time for the presidential elections, but not in time for Rick to be able to vote (he would have had to be registered by the end of December, and we got to our permanent digs at the end of February) :-\.

So, we're simply anxious bystanders.

Politics in France is a tiny bit different than in the states. Here, the presidential election is in two rounds - the first was last Sunday (yep, a non-working day, so people can more easily vote). The second round is 2 weeks later (May 7, this year), and is a run-off between the top two vote-getters from the first round. In June, the legislature is voted in. In each of these elections, the voter can "vote blank" - an official method of abstaining, or saying "none of the above." I haven't quite figured out why anyone would go to the trouble of doing that, especially in the first round, when there were *eleven* (yes, 11) candidates for president. The vote is counted as a straight percentage - no electoral college, no districts having an advantage - your vote counts the same as anyone's, no matter where you are in France (those living abroad have some different rules, and I'm not keeping up on them well enough to say more).

This year, about 80% of eligible voters turned out. Our two candidates going to the second round are Macron (with roughly 24%) and Le Pen (~21%).

Here's how our town of Sète voted (http://mobile.francetvinfo.fr/elections/resultats/herault_34/sete_34200):

One thing everyone seemed to be afraid of was the wildly inaccurate polls in both the USA and UK elections. It turned out that, at least for the first round, the polls and results were very close.

We'll just have to wait a couple of weeks to find out if that will remain true for the second round...

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