French presidential election campaign

Sarkozy and Hollande box over economy

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy claims he is the only one with experience to save France from financial woes, while François Hollande says Sarkozy caused them.

French presidential elections: how they work, who's running

France

After months of campaigning and thundering rhetoric, the French presidential elections finally get underway this coming Sunday with the first round of voting in what is a two-round poll. The two candidates who emerge with the highest scores on April 22nd will go on to a final play-off in the second round held two weeks later, on May 6th. The result of the approaching first round is far from decided in advance, while the stakes, amid a severe economic crisis, have never been greater. This simple guide explains how the presidential election system works, who the candidates are, the issues of debate and the factors at play for the outcome of the voting on Sunday.

Economic constraints dampen French election promises

France — Link

The French presidential election campaign has laid bare the decline in the nation's public finances and lack of wiggle room for next head of state.

Hollande win down to 'anti-Sarkozy vote'

France — Link

The Economist finds French presidential election Socialist Party candidate François Hollande is likely to win chiefly because he is anti-Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy hit by defections and poll slide

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election hopes suffer double setback after a string of public defections and a tumble in opinion polls days before voting begins.

'Nature' quizzes Sarkozy and Hollande about plans for science

France — Link

Nature magazine asks the leading French presidential election candidates, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, about their plans for science.

Chirac 'will vote for Hollande' says former president's aide

France — Link

Former French conservative president Jacques Chirac will reportedly vote for socialist candidate François Hollande in the presidential elections.

French opinion polls silent over key campaign issue of race

France — Link

Unlike in the US, French opinion polls are forbidden from reporting on intentions of voters from specific ethnic, racial or religious background.

French elections in images: hoarse Hollande targets first round turnout

France — Report

Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and the milestone events. This weekend, in the Paris suburb of Vincennes, he mingled with supporters of Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as he held his final major meeting before polling begins in the first of the two-round elections on Sunday April 22nd, just as Nicolas Sarkozy held his own rally in central Paris. It was a crucial media clash between the two main rivals, both eager to display their capability of mobilising supporters en masse. While Sarkozy’s so-called “silent majority” jumped and clapped in blue, white and red at the Place de la Concorde, a demonstrably more black and white crowd, what Hollande calls his “popular majority”, cheered and danced to Caribbean music before the Château de Vincennes.

French elections in images: Sarkozy's last stand, where the guillotine once stood

France — Report

American Paris-based photographer Thomas Haley has been following the French presidential election campaign with a series of reports posted on his Mediapart blog. This weekend he followed the crowds that turned out for incumbent candidate Nicolas Sarkozy as he held his last make-or-break rally in central Paris, ten kilometres away from a mass open air meeting by his main rival, Socialist Party candidate François Hollande.

Sarkozy 'embarrassed France' with Obama video conference TV stunt

International — Link

In an unprecedented move in French diplomacy, TV channels were given a video link-up between Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama.

French rich prepare for exile in London

France — Link

Plush London districts are attracting super-rich migrants from France, scared by a tide of tax hikes promised by presidential election candidates.

Hollande seeks to reassure on his credibility with markets

France — Link

Socialist pesidential candidate François Hollande insists that France won't suffer financial market opposition if he is elected next month.

Sarkozy cites Spanish woes as reason for not voting Hollande

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy said the turmoil in Spain shows why French voters must not hand power to Socialist Party presidential candidate François Hollande.

French elections in images: Hollande rides to the deprived suburbs to rally abstentionists

France — Report

Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and the milestone events. Here he follows Socialist Party candidate François Hollande on a day-long tour of socially-deprived suburban areas, or banlieues, close to Paris, the scenes of major riots seven years ago, where the turnout for elections is traditionally low. The often disenfranchised population of these neighbourhoods, composed of a comparatively high proportion of North and West African immigrant families, and first- or second-generation French, suffer from an unemployment rate often above twice the national average. At one meeting he exhorted a cheering crowd: “Don’t let others decide in your place, come and vote.” Referring to the stigmatization of ethnic and religious groups during the campaign by both the mainstream Right and Far Right, he said: “When I see you, when I look at you, I don’t guess at your religion by your face. I will not let France’s children be humiliated.”