Who voted Sarkozy, Royal?
IPSOS' telephone poll showed that 58% of the youngest voters (18-24) supported Royal,while Sarkozy took the next age bracket (25-34) with 57%. Sarkozy's strongest voting bloc was the over 60. Small business owners and rural voters leaned toward Sarkozy, while urbanites were divided.
Senior citizens don't have much to gain themselves from Sarkozy's plan to change the 35-hour work week and offer more deregulation of the economy. He isn't promising them any great social security increases. However, he has proposed to exempt 95 % of his countrymen from the inheritance tax.
The highly coveted votes from centrist Francois Bayrou in the first round were split, slightly favoring Sarkozy by 40% to Royal's 38% with a significant 15% of Bayrou supporters abstaining.
Despite far-right Front National candidate Jean Marie Le Pen's plea to his supporters to abstain, most of them voted for Sarkozy (63%), with 15% going to Royal and just over 20% abstaining.
Sarkozy rode to victory on these votes he picked up from the center and the far right.
Paris voting patterns
The breakdown of votes in
Paris: Nicolas Sarkozy 50.19%, Ségolène Royal 49.81%
(See appendix below for complete breakdown of votes by arrondissement)
The poshest arrondissement (district or borough) in
Violent Clashes in Response
Over 3,000 police were deployed in
Clashes with police also occurred in
Some French citizens commented that they could not recall an election outcome in their lifetimes that had been met with similar outrage and violence.
According to the National Police, 730 cars were burned in metropolitan
Mr. Law and Order
Part of the high turnout and subsequent violence is due to Sarkozy's extremely polarizing rhetoric over the past three years. He has made security and immigration, work and authority his slogans ever since taking over the position of Ministry of the Interior in May 2005. He received constant public attention for his provocative comments about crime and the immigrant populations, most notably when he called suburban delinquents "scum" that he would remove from their streets with a power hose. Since those suburbs are populated by large numbers of Arabs and black Africans, many interpreted his comment as racist, though he has several times tried to repudiate the label.
During the November 2005 riots he blamed the violence on unemployment (due to socialist economic policies he alleged), different cultural values (such as polygamy) and lack of respect for the Republic on the part of the immigrant population. For him, the suburbs were divided between hard-working French citizens and lazy, violent criminals making illegal money through an underground drug economy. He spoke of the latter as mafias and gangs that had occupied territory belonging to the Republic , which he vowed to reclaim with more national police on site and stronger sentences for "hooligans."
Sarkozy has also favored liberal economic policies, calling for an end to the 35 hour work week in the name of citizens' freedom to work as much as they like. Other major policy proposals include making more use of nuclear energy, lowering the income tax by 4%, and abolishing the estate tax for all but 5% of the population. But to many citizens, he is known as the man who will re-establish law and order.
A recent controversy came in an interview Sarkozy did with philosopher Michel Onfray where he was accused of supporting a racist eugenics to explain an individual's behavior. In that interview he was of the view that "one is born a pedophile." The same for those who commit suicide or get cancer. "Circumstances don't do everything. The role of the innate is immense--genetically."
Critics have then taken such quotations as a context for his opposition to Turkey entering the European Union. In a recent debate, he claimed, "It's not about democracy, it's not about muslims. It's that if Turkey becomes Europe Europe's borders will be Iraq and Syria." It's simply about geography, he concluded.
However, Sarkozy has been on record making more than an argument about geography. Last fall he permitted an interview to a new neo-conservative magazine Le Meilleur des Mondes, which has a very small circulation. "We have a problem of integration of Muslims that raises the issue of Islam in Europe." he said. "To say it is not a problem is to hide from reality. If you let 100 million Turkish Muslims come in, what will come of it?" He went on to make the same comment about Iraq and Syria as the outrageous borders of Europe in such a scenario.
His critics have accused him of deviously exploiting the fears of racists, islamophobes, and generally uninformed citizens. But Sarkozy was able to accuse his opponent of similar fearmongering last week when Madame Royal publicly warned of possible riots if Sarkozy won.
In a victory speech Sarkozy addressed the nation last night, reminding it of his campaign slogans, his brand: "[Voters] have chosen to break with the habits and the ideals of the past so I will rehabilitate work, authority, morality, respect, merit!"
When he finished speaking, giddy supporters feted their hero to a rendition of the French national anthem. Some 30,000 supporters gathered Sunday night at the Place de la Concorde to celebrate Sarkozy's victory. Police closed down the metro stop there and several others nearby, anticipating possible clashes near the seat of government.
Sarkozy's defeated opponent Segolene Royal vowed to keep on fighting. She claimed something powerful had been "set in motion which will not be stopped [by this election outcome]," and that "You can count on me to continue building a renewed left."
Mr. Sarkozy will assume the presidency May 17 to the tune of the Marseillaise and a 21-gun salute. Bang, bang.
Appendix: Paris vote by Arrondissement
Paris 10ème arrondissement
Ségolène Royal 62.99%, Nicolas Sarkozy 37.01%
Ségolène Royal 61.68%, Nicolas Sarkozy 38.32%
Ségolène Royal 51.86%, Nicolas Sarkozy 48.14%
Ségolène Royal 58.8%, Nicolas Sarkozy 41.2%
Ségolène Royal 53.86%, Nicolas Sarkozy 46.14%
Nicolas Sarkozy 59.82%, Ségolène Royal 40.18%
Nicolas Sarkozy 80.81%, Ségolène Royal 19.19%
Nicolas Sarkozy 62.8%, Ségolène Royal 37.2%
Ségolène Royal 63.62%, Nicolas Sarkozy 36.38%
Ségolène Royal 60.15%, Nicolas Sarkozy 39.85%
Nicolas Sarkozy 56.34%, Ségolène Royal 43.66%
Ségolène Royal 64.63%, Nicolas Sarkozy 35.37%
Ségolène Royal 54.08%, Nicolas Sarkozy 45.92%
Ségolène Royal 57.06%, Nicolas Sarkozy 42.94%
Nicolas Sarkozy 50.24%, Ségolène Royal 49.76%
Ségolène Royal 50.89%, Nicolas Sarkozy 49.11%
Nicolas Sarkozy 61.27%, Ségolène Royal 38.73%
Nicolas Sarkozy 74.75%, Ségolène Royal 25.25%
Nicolas Sarkozy 76.27%, Ségolène Royal 23.73%50.65%, Ségolène Royal 49.35%