French far-right receives 1 in 5 votes in French presidential election
The first round of the French presidential election is today with a run-off in two weeks. Current exit polls coalesce around similar figures:
1902: Those first results are in: Francois Hollande 28%; Nicolas Sarkozy 26%; Marine Le Pen 20%; Jean-Luc Melenchon 12%; Francois Bayrou 9% (taken from BBC live thread on election)
This would be the highest proportion (as far as I can see) that the far-right have taken in their history in France. They were not as successful as in 2002 however, while they had a lower proportion of the votes to today, they achieved second place before losing badly to Chirac in the run off.
Still, it is rather stomach churning to see such a major country openly back the far-right. That said, it has been more about Marine Le Pen rather than her party (which do not do as well in comparison), but even so. Ugh.
Hollande is expected to win the run off on the 6th May and oust Sarkozy. This will be the first socialist French President since Mitterand in 1995. Certainly will make for an interesting dynamic in Eurozone politics.
The Greek elections are also on the 6th May. Difficult to really say who is going to win, but looks like the current two parties will cling on in their uneasy coalition. The extremes may end up getting some in the region of 30%-35% of the vote, however (counting both far left and far right). It is going to be close, though. One to look out for. If the ND, PASOK and DISY fail to get enough seats to govern as a majority, the bailout conditions could end up being revoked. They are the only pro-bailout parties.
May also be some changes in the Netherlands and possibly even the Czech Republic as well. The latter has had protests about their continued governance and over austerity. The Dutch government looks ready to fall as the far-right pulled out of the coalition leading to early elections, probably in September if not earlier. The Dutch may also lose their AAA rating pretty soon as their economy is in recession and going nowhere. The pool of strong Eurozone countries is shrinking.
This is of course alongside the background of bond yields for Italy and Spain rising back above the 'danger level' of 6% again recently.
Just for something a little different than US politics.