The best explanation I have seen for why François Hollande
should be ranked as the favourite for the French presidency going into the final round comes from the Rue 89 blog. Here, courtesy of a friend who speaks far better French than I, is the
key part of the argument:
‘There are no scenarios that lead to a Sarkozy victory.
We generously assumed that 50 per cent of Bayrou’s first round votes would go to Sarkozy, with only 20 per cent going to Hollande and 30 per cent abstaining (whereas the latest polls
suggest the centrist electorate was divided into three approximately equal parts between these three positions).
We also accorded 60 per cent of Le Pen’s votes to the outgoing President (compared to 45 per cent according to the latest Ipsos poll), with 10 per cent to Hollande and 30 per cent
abstaining. Support for Hollande from the other left wing candidates’ voters was capped at 80 per cent.
In spite of all these conditions, Hollande would still win in this simulation based on outturn first round results, with 50.7 per cent of the vote. In other words, the vote on 22nd April
points to a victory, no doubt with a large margin, by the socialist candidate on 6th May.’
Now, I’ll caveat this by saying that two horse races are unpredictable and Hollande could implode in the TV debate — one might also add that Rue 89 leans left. But this
analysis does show why Hollande should be considered the firm favourite to win in two weeks time.