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Sarkozy President
On May 6, 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy has been elected President of France

Added on May 7, 2007
The official result published by the Interior Ministry: Sarkozy 53.06%. Royal 46,94%.

Article added on May 6, 2007 last update 20.05 Paris time.  
This time, the 44.5 million French voters have not offered us a surprise. On May 6, 2007 the liberal-conservative UMP candidate and long time frontrunner of the French presidential election race, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been elected President of France. The exit polls of May 6, 2007 at 20.00 Paris time show that Sarkozy got 53.5%, whereas his rival, the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal, only won 46.5%, with a voter turnout of about 75% at 17 hours (the overall voter turnout could reach 84-86%). The distance separating the two candidates is considered too large to be reversed.

Already the latest polls published after the
TV debate between Royal and Sarkozy  indicated, that the UMP politician was heading towards a secure win. A poll published on May 4 by Ipsos/Dell gave Sarkozy a 54% to 46% lead over Royal. Another poll of the same day by TNS-Sofres for RTL, LCI and Le Figaro gave Sarkozy even a 54.5% to 45.5% lead. The closest poll, by CSA-Cisco for Le Parisien/i-Télé published on May 3, also after the debate, gave Sarkozy a 53% to 47% win.

Still, a poll is only a poll and the election was only decided on Sunday. Sarkozy was wise enough to state that the race was not won yet. Since voter turnout in the
first round was high with some 84%, the mobilization of one's voters was crucial.

Although the radical right-wing candidate Le Pen asked his supporters to abstain from voting, Sarkozy with his tough stand on immigration and crime was supposed to get the majority of their votes.

The last obstacle to Sarkozy's win was the TV debate with Royal on May 2. Most viewers saw the UMP candidate as the winner. Probably because Royal appeared more as a divider than a uniter and because she could not convince on economic matters. Many people who had initially voted for François Bayrou, eliminated after the first round but garnering some 18.6% of the vote, decided to vote for Sarkozy in the decisive second round. Royal was unable to get the votes of the clear majority of the centrist's followers, the only way to beat the UMP frontrunner.

After the presidential debate, most people in Royal's camp were demoralized. Defeat had become almost a certainty to them. Only Royal fought on, attacking the media as too friendly to the ruling UMP party. In her last public rallies, she went us for as to suggest that Sarkozy was a danger for the Unity of the French Republic and that under a President Sarkozy, there was a danger of new riots in France. There was no way she could reverse the trend, and her remarks as well as her appeal to vote for a woman proofed to be counterproductive maneuvers by a sour likely loser who, incidentally, had suggested boot camps for young offenders and that all French should have a national flag at home.

Now, after twelve years lost with an incapable President Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy has to prove that he can deliver, as promised during his campaign, and modernize France and its sluggish economy. A first test, whether he has convinced the French and whether he can carry on the momentum, will come on June 10 and 17, 2007 with the legislative elections.









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