The first round of France’s presidential election will take place on Sunday. If you’re curious about what French campaign posters look like, look no further.
Here are a handful I snapped last week in Paris and Normandy. The photo at top and the video below is a typical ‘official’ scene you’ll find in public areas or near municipal buildings, where all ten candidates are listed.
Below is a wall that an apparently short Sarkozy campaign worker tried to retake from Socialist challenger Francois Hollande. According to most polls the two are expected to finish fairly close in the first round, setting up their second round clash on May 6. Once there, the conventional wisdom gives Hollande the victory, inflicting a crushing blow to those who enjoy reading about Carla Bruni hosting State Dinners.
Given Hollande’s dullness and Sarkozy’s unpopularity, it’s the first round spoilers who are attracting the most attention- Left Party candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the far-right firebrand Marine Le Pen. Le Pen has taken over the National Front from her father Jean-Marie; Mélenchon is a former Trotskyite who left the Socialist Party in 2008 after he felt it had moved too close to the center. They’re polling between 15 and 25 percent setting up what may turn out to be a heated battle for third.
Le Pen has tried to distance herself from the National Front’s racist past, if not its strong anti-immigrant rhetoric, and is alarmingly popular among young voters. Mélenchon meanwhile has publicly referred to some journalists as ‘dickheads’. Fun stuff, no?
Here is Hollande’s party headquarters in the Normande city of Cherbourg. The lack of activity seems to mirror the excitement he’s generating, despite his showing in the polls.
As with many things in France, the campaign has managed to produce plenty of pulp and lots of reading material. Does anyone know if any of these titles are best sellers?
Want to win a FREE major publishing house travel guide of your choice? Sign up now for a FREE subscription to Piran Cafe’s monthly newsletter and you’ll be automatically entered to win in the first monthly giveaway, available to subscribers ONLY. First drawing is on 1 May, so do it now!
Why not? Follow me on Twitter.