“One French socialist edges ahead of another” de Daniel Hannan (Daily Telegraph)
There was never any doubt that a socialist would win the first round of the French election. This is because, with one partial exception, all ten candidates favoured socialist policies. Sarkozy fought the election promising to make France ‘stronger than the markets’. François Hollande wanted a top rate tax of 75 per cent and a massive expansion of the state payroll. Marine Le Pen ditched her father’s anti-scrounger rhetoric and ran on a platform which, on economics, was well to the Left of Sarko’s.
Of the other seven candidates, one positioned himself between Sarko and Hollande, one fought as a Green and no fewer than four stood as Trotskyists. The only candidate who would have been considered Right-of-Centre in another country was the Gaullist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who secured less than 2 per cent of the vote – and even he freighted his rhetoric with a good deal of protectionism and anti-Americanism