Analysis

  • French presidentials, round one: the final scores, the power balance, how the regions voted

    The final, official scores of the candidates in the first round of the French presidential elections show Socialist Party candidate François Hollande in the lead with 28.63% of votes cast, followed by Nicolas Sarkozy at 27.18%. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is in third spot, with 17.9% of votes cast. Radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon sits fourth with 11.11%, while centre-right MoDem candidate François Bayrou is in fifth position with 9.13%. Of the remaining five candidates, Green party EELV’s Eva Joly scored 2.31%, Gaullist conservative Nicolas Dupont-Aignan 1.79%, far-left NPA party candidate Philippe Poutou 1.15%, the far-left Lutte Ouvrière party’s Nathalie Arthaud 0.56%, while maverick right Jacques Cheminade of the Solidarité et Progrès party came last with 0.25%. The abstention rate among all registered voters is estimated at 21.53%, compared with 16.23% in the first round of the last presidential elections, in 2007. Mediapart presents a graphic guide to how the major candidates scored region by region, the number of votes cast for each, the power balance between Right and Left, and how the situation compares with previous elections. 

  • Public service reforms in France: all pain, little gain

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    In 2007 the government under newly-elected President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a far-reaching series of reforms of the French state and its functions. These much-trumpeted measures were intended to modernise the country's administration – and save money. But though thousands of jobs have gone and some state services have become more expensive, there is little tangible proof that the changes have produced substantial savings. Lucie Delaporte reports.

  • The winds of the Arab Spring blow towards Algeria

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    This year, Algeria, the largest of the Maghrebi countries of North Africa, will mark 50 years of independence from its former ruler France. But the celebrations are set to be heavily subdued by the population’s widespread frustration over social inequalities, unemployment, and the decrepitude of public institutions and infrastructures, the very same issues that prompted the Arab Spring uprisings among its neighbours to the east. Pierre Puchot examines the indicators that suggest the Algerian regime may be the next to fall to a popular revolt.

  • Nicolas Sarkozy charges into elections behind a social and economic battering ram

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    French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday announced a battery of economic measures the scope of which has never before been undertaken by a president facing an imminent re-election contest. While still not officially declaring himself candidate in the two-round elections that begin in April, although providing a clear hint that he will run as expected, Sarkozy presented a raft of major reforms to be rushed through parliament in the weeks ahead, including a hike in VAT, a go-it-alone ‘Tobin tax’ and the effective end of the 35-hour minimum working week, all of which are to be introduced after the elections. Mathieu Magnaudeix analyses the principal measures unveiled during an hour-long interview broadcast live across eight television channels.

  • François Hollande and his balancing act for the French presidency

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     © TC/MP © TC/MP

    With 100 days to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, Socialist Party candidate François Hollande (pictured) is still baffling observers and rivals alike. In the wings for over a year now, Hollande has pulled off a tour de force by imposing his slow tempo on the political debate, displaying a singular virtuosity in the art of fuzziness. Stéphane Alliès takes a closer look at the strategy of the man who hopes to become France's first socialist president since 1995.

  • French ministers begin open attacks on British EU veto

    French ministers begin open slamming of Britain's use of its veto at an EU summit on Friday, ahead of David Cameron's much-awaited parliamentary speech.
  • The facts of the pact that panics the French nuclear lobby

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    After tortuous negotiations, France's Green party last weekend finally ratified an electoral pact drawn up with the Socialist Party which centres on a steep reduction in nuclear power production and the development of renewable energy sources. The agreement, which has triggered alarm bells in the French nuclear industry, seals an alliance between both parties for the legislative elections that will immediately follow next year's presidential poll. Jade Lindgaard examines the facts and figures behind the programme to reduce nuclear energy production, and reports on the last-minute political high drama that came close to leaving it stillborn.

  • Why the IMF holds the key to solving the eurozone crisis

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     © EU. © EU.

    Few have heard of the International Monetary Fund's substitution account. The mechanism, proposed 40 years ago, never saw the light of day and yet, argues Philippe Ries, this is an instrument that would have offered, here and now, a way out of the eurozone debt crisis.

  • In search of the lost global warming debate

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     © Greenpeace © Greenpeace

    The political fallout from Fukushima and the deepening financial crisis appear to have eclipsed concern about climate change, relegating greenhouse gas emissions to a dangerous back burner. Bucking the trend are two books just published in France that put carbon and climate issues back into the sun. One argues against our "carbocentric" age and its blinkered technocratic take on the depletion of natural resources at the expense of social equality, while the other likens fossil fuels to 'energy slaves', abused and depleted with disastrous future consequences. Jade Lindgaard reviews two conflicting, compelling and ultimately complimentary works.

  • Takieddine Documents: Mediapart targeted by death threats

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    In a series of exclusive reports that began in July, Mediapart has revealed the long-standing close links between France-based businessman and arms dealer Ziad Takieddine and the inner circle of advisers and aides surrounding Nicolas Sarkozy, before and after he became French president. Now a Mediapart journalist has made an official complaint after receiving death threats linked to the stories. Here Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel discloses the nature of the threats and explains why Mediapart has decided to lodge the complaint with the legal authorities.