Arun Stephens

Election day in France

Today is the first round in the French presidential election. A candidate has to get a majority (i.e. > 50%) in order to win. If nobody gets over 50% today, then there is another election in two weeks with the top two candidates from today, who most people expect to be Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal.

I was wondering how often the first place getter in the first round doesn’t win in the second round. It turns out it happens quite often. In the 5th Republic of France, there have been 7 elections that needed a second round. In three of those elections the second place getter won the Presidency. Thanks Wikipedia. Actually, I could be wrong about the exact numbers as I figured that out this morning and could have forgotten by now. Interesting, anyway.

Tonight there will be election coverage on all the main channels. It will be interesting to see the French way of doing things. I wonder if someone will hijack a plane and threaten to fly it into the Eiffel Tower?

Campaign posters don’t just go up anywhere. There are special boards that are erected in each town with all the posters on them. The usual vandalism happens (usually putting Hitleresque moustaches on Le Pen and Sarkozy) and the posters tend to get replaced fairly often too. I haven’t see any campaign ads on TV though (because I don’t watch much French TV).

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I wonder what these will be replaced with next week, for the second round?