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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Poll shows "Sarko revival" gathers momentum - among UMP party supporters

We all know how much French politicians seem to love opinion polls.

Well, here's one that'll have the former president Nicolas Sarkozy grinning from ear to ear, at least in terms of the level of support he has within his "political family" the centre-right Union pour un mouvement populaire (Union for a popular movement, UMP).

It's an exclusive (aren't they always?) survey carried out by Ifop on behalf of the national radio station Europe 1 and the daily newspaper Le Figaro to gauge the impact of Sarkozy's 45-minute TV interview with the channel's prime time weekend news anchor Laurent Delahousse on Sunday.

And the result?

A resounding win for Sarkozy, as far as, UMP supporters were concerned, in the party's leadership battle due to be put to a vote among members on November 29, with a second round scheduled a week later should no candidate secure a majority.

At the moment, that second round doesn't look as though it'll be necessary as the poll shows Sarkozy (at 75 per cent) to be way ahead of his rivals Bruno Le Maire (16 per cent) and Hervé Mariton (2 per cent) as far as UMP supporters.

(screenshot Ifop poll for Europe 1 and Le Figaro)

And the future looks bright for Sarkozy in terms of his popularity among UMP members should he decide to run for the party's nomination to be its presidential candidate in 2017.

The poll has Sarkozy at 65 per cent with his nearest rival Alain Juppé at 23 per cent and the "also-rans" François Fillon and Xavier Bertrand at seven and two per cent respectively.

Once again those figures are only a reflection of the Sarkozy's popularity among the party's supporters - and even then 28 per cent of them

But it's not all good news for Sarkozy.

The general electorate still considers Juppé (at 33 per cent) to be the party's best candidate in the 2017 presidential election ahead of Sarkozy (26 per cent).

And although UMP members will, of course, ultimately decide who'll run (and remember Sarkozy hasn't officially confirmed he'll seek the party's nomination) it'll be the French as a whole who decide the best man or woman for the job.

A couple of other factors to consider as well are other polls released recently showing that the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, would make it through to a second round run-off in 2017 - no matter who would be her opponents in the first round, along with another (carried out before Sunday's interview) showing that 60 per cent of the French "disapproved" of Sarkozy's comeback.

And let's not forget the judicial enquiries which could "continue to dog" the success of the so-called "Sarko revival".

One thing's for certain, more polls - many more of them - over the coming months will allow those "in the know" to interpret and analyse to their hearts' delight.

Anyway, for the moment,  for you number crunchers out there, the full Ifop poll results and the methodology can be found here.

Happy reading!

Oh, and because a healthy slice of satire never did any harm, here's Monday's edition of Les Guignols de l'info on Canal + with (among other things) its own particular take on that televised interview and Sarkozy's comeback.

Now that, you can really enjoy.

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