French Political Earthquake!

Alternative alternative at sbcglobal.net
Mon Apr 22 14:03:37 MDT 2002


First round of Presidential elections held on Sunday, April 21, shows:
(estimates based on polls, not final results)

Record abstentionism for a Presidential first round: over 28% did not
vote.

Partial collapse of the Gaullist right (Chirac): less than 20% -
apparently they lost about 14% of the vote in the last two weeks. Few of
those deserting the Gaullist went to the neo-fascist of the National
Front (Le Pen) but most of them abstained.

Collapse of the now bourgeois Socialist Party - they got less than 16%.
The extreme left was only able to capture few percentage points of
Socialist voters, a big chunk preferred to abstain.

Collapse of the reformist Communist Party: less than 4%.  Most of their
voters shifted their support for Trotskyist candidates (especially
Laguiller)

Laguiller (Trotskyist), Lutte Ouvriere: 7% - loss 4 percentage points in
the last two weeks, under a barrage of negative media and the dynamic
campaign of the LCR that undercut them somewhat. Laguiller said: "I will
not vote for Chirac in the second round" and "Jospin defeat is entirely
his responsibility."

Besancenot (Trotskyist), Ligue Communiste Revolutionarie, LCR, USFI: 4%
- undercutting Laguiller in the last two weeks.  He called "for a front
of resistance to fascism" in view of the projected results.

Gluckstein (Trotskyist), Lambertists: collapsed at 0.5% (the most
reformist of the three Trotskyist candidates)

Some Gaullist voters went for Le Pen (Neo-fascist)and put him on the top
of the fascist vote (last presidential election they got 15.3%):  They
are now  at 17% and potentially could go to the second round.  This will
destabilize the entire political situation in France. Apparently, they
capitalized on the crisis of the right wing Gaullist.

Observers expect mass demonstrations against fascism from now to the
second round if Le Pen is confirmed as one of the two candidates
disputing the Presidency with Chirac.

The estimates of the results also clearly show that a united electoral
front of the existent left (Trotskyists and CP) could have competed for
the second position with great possibilities (fragmented, they got over
14% of the vote.)

Of course, as always, the Communist and Socialist parties will blame
their defeat and the advance of Le Pen in the first round to the extreme
left, instead of their policies of administering neo-liberal and
imperial policies on behalf of the French ruling class.

c.


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