The two rounds of the next Presidential election will be held in April and May 2012. Certain candidates are already in their starting blocks, but some have not yet definitely announced that they will stand for election. The main candidates are the following:
1) NICOLAS SARKOZY (Currently President)
He has not yet indicated whether he will stand for a second term of five years. As a result no meaningful Opinion Polls are at present available. If he does not stand the race for the Presidency would be thrown wide open.
2) FRANCOIS HOLLANDE (Socialist Party)
He has been elected as the Officially Sponsored Socialist Party Candidate after his second round victory when he comfortably beat Martine Aubry. Six candidates stood for the primary election and they all agreed beforehand that if they lost they would not stand against the winner as an independent candidate in the election next April.
It should be noted that Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), initially the hot favourite to become the next President of France, has declined to stand due to accusations of Rape that have been levelled against him.
3) MARINE LE PEN (National Front Party)
She has now replaced her father, Jean-Marie LE PEN, as President of the National Front Party and she will stand as the official candidate.
4) EVA JOLLY (The Green Party).
Her supporter, Daniel Cohn Bendit will not stand against her. She has, however, surprised a lot of people by declaring that she wishes to abolish the traditional celebrations on July 14 !!! In fact it would be a real surprise if she totals more than 5% of the total votes.
5) JEAN-LUC MELENCHON (Communist Party)
He has announced his intention to stand . He could poll 5 to 10% of the votes. The votes he gets in the first round will not go to the Socialist candidate !!!
6) OTHER CANDIDATES.
There are several other possible candidates, but mainly from the Right of the polical spectrum. In fact everything really depends on whether the outgoing President, NICOLAS SARKOZY, will announce his intention to stand (or not). This will not be, he has already explained on television this week, before next February or March.
If he does not stand other candidates will jump to replace him !!! In particular there are;
- FRANCOIS FILLON (The current Prime Minister)
- DOMINIQUE de VILLEPIN (Former Prime Minister)
- JEAN-FRANCOIS COPE (Secretary of the governing UMP party)
- ALAIN JUPPE (Former Prime Minister)
One could say that if any two, of the last four possible candidates, replace PRESIDENT SARKOZY, this would split the vote and could result in MARINE LE PEN facing FRANCOIS HOLLANDE in the final run-off next May !!!
Other candidates such as FRANCOIS BAYROU (Modem) and HERVE MORIN (New Center Party) are expected to announce their intentions in the coming weeks.