The lightning rise in the popularity of François Fillion was totally unexpected ! It relegated Alain Juppé the favourate to 2nd place and former President Sarkozy to 3rd : he then immediately announced his retirement from politics - for the second time ! The first time was 5 years ago after Hollande defeated him to become President !
Another serious casualty is Socialist President Hollande ! His first term has been a catastrophy, to put it mildly ! However he "desperately" wants to stand for a second term of 5 years because he maintains he is the only Socialist candidate with enough experience ! Additionally he is also "certain" in his mind that he could again beat Sarkozy ! He has done it once, why not again ?
He has delayed any official declation of his intentions until early December, which would be after the Republican Primary ! This has also delayed the staging of Primary Elections by the Socialist Party ! They have been scheduled for early January 2017.
If he decides to stand for re-election as President, he must take part in the Primary ! His popularity in France is at an all-time low of 14% compared with any other previous President. His Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has a constant popularity rating which is at least twice as high !
Valls has been loyal for a long time, always saying he would never stand against Hollande ! However, recently Valls was put in his place by Hollande for commenting on remarks in the book "A President should not say that..."!
Valls may finally stand whatever Hollande decides ! This is also the secret hope of many Socialists !