Left candidate pips Sarkozy in French TV face-off
Socialist candidate François Hollande seemed to edge France’s head-to-head presidential debate with Nicolas Sarkozy watched by around 20 million viewers.
The verdict, recorded by the majority of political commentators, seemed to be based more on the political stature of each man as a presidential figure on the eve of the second round of elections, rather than their policies.
Sarkozy repeatedly called Hollande a liar during Le Débat, as the latter went on the offensive about the current president’s tenure in power, leading to analysts’ suggestions that the socialist was the calmer and more reflective of the two.
Hollande had already won the first round of elections, which also recorded the alarming rise of the extreme right, with Marine Le Pen taking 18% of the vote. Her aims to make France the centre of the world again and her attitude towards halting immigration have brought great criticism. She vowed to make “a radical change of politics in order to drastically reduce upstream the influx of illegal immigrants towards France”.
This seemingly racist stance has been criticised by the majority of her rivals.
However, Sarkozy has run his campaign from the beginning, trying to woo the extreme right himself, while Hollande has already promised to tax the richest people in France a whopping 75% and declared himself against austerity and in favour of structured growth and jobs as a solution to the crisis.
In a UK context, Hollande’s policies would probably be slightly to the left of Britain’s Labour party, with more provision for social housing, a stronger relationship with Germany and a reduction of nuclear power in favour of renewable sources of energy.
The deciding round of elections will be held on 6th May.
The editorial unit