Francois Hollande, the socialist party candidate, has officially beaten Nicolas Sarkozy. A win for the left? maybe not.
In round one nearly 20% of French voters went for far right Marine le Penn of the far right extremist Front National Party, long supported by anti-semitic and neo-nazi groups.
And while Sarkozy was generally despised by the left- he was also unpopular with much of the right- due to his support of Islam, and lack of support for christianity:
From wikipedia: In 2004 Sarkozy co-authored a book, La République, les religions, l’espérance (The Republic, Religions, and Hope), in which he argued that the young should not be brought up solely on secular or republican values. He advocated reducing the separation of church and state, arguing for the government subsidy of mosques in order to encourage Islamic integration into French society. He opposes financing of religious institutions with funds from outside France.
He also called Islam “one of the greatest and most beautiful civilizations the world has known” at a speech in Riyadah Saudi Arabia in January 2008. He also was vehemently opposed to the US invasion of Iraq.
And Hollande reached out to the far right, among many other things pledging to uphold a ban on women wearing Burkas in public. He also critisized Sarkosy for his support of Halal meat.
So, in many ways- this election had less to do with support of the left, then repudiation of the moderate right. Coupled with strong support for anti islamic, and anti immigrant policies. I will bet money today that the next election will see a shift to the far right…