French presidential election, 2012

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French presidential election, 2012
France
2007 ←
21–22 April and 5–6 May 2012 → 2017

  François Hollande Nicolas Sarkozy
Nominee François Hollande Nicolas Sarkozy
Party PS UMP
Popular vote 18,000,668 16,860,685
Percentage 51.6% 48.4%

2012 French presidential election - Second round - Majority vote (Metropolitan France, communes).svg

Map of results by communes.

President before election

Nicolas Sarkozy
UMP

President-elect

François Hollande
PS

Results by Departament for the 1st round of French presidential elections, 2012.
Results by Departament for the 2nd round of French presidential elections, 2012.
Results by Region for the 1st round of French presidential elections, 2012.
Results by Region for the 2st round of French presidential elections, 2012.

A presidential election was held in France on 22 April 2012 (or 21 April in some overseas departments and territories), with a second round run-off held on 6 May (or 5 May for those same territories) to elect the President of France (who is also ex officio one of the two joint heads of state of Andorra, a sovereign state). The incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy was running for a second successive and, under the terms of the constitution, final term in the election.

The first round ended with the selection of François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy as second round participants, as neither of them received a majority of votes cast in the first round. Hollande won the runoff with 51.64% of the vote to Sarkozy's 48.36%.[1]

The presidential election was followed by a legislative election in June.

Results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 21–22 April and 5–6 May 2012 French presidential election result
Candidate Party 1st round 2nd round
Votes  % Votes  %
François Hollande Socialist Party and Radical Party of the Left PS–PRG 10,272,705 28.63% 18,000,668 51.64%
Nicolas Sarkozy Union for a Popular Movement UMP 9,753,629 27.18% 16,860,685 48.36%
Marine Le Pen National Front FN 6,421,426 17.90%
Jean-Luc Mélenchon Left Front FG 3,984,822 11.10%
François Bayrou Democratic Movement MoDem 3,275,122 9.13%
Eva Joly Europe Ecology – The Greens EELV 828,345 2.31%
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Republic Arise DLR 643,907 1.79%
Philippe Poutou New Anticapitalist Party NPA 411,160 1.15%
Nathalie Arthaud Workers' Struggle LO 202,548 0.56%
Jacques Cheminade Solidarity and Progress SP 89,545 0.25%
Total 35,883,209 100% 34,861,353 100%
Valid votes 35,883,209 98.08% 34,861,353 94.18%
Spoilt and null votes 701,190 1.92% 2,154,956 5.82%
Turnout 36,584,399 79.48% 37,016,309 80.35%
Abstentions 9,444,143 20.52% 9,049,998 19.65%
Registered voters 46,028,542 46,066,307
Table of results ordered by number of votes received in first round. Official results by Constitutional Council of France.

Source: List of candidates · First round result · Second round result

More than 46 million people were eligible to vote.[2]

François Hollande received 51.64% of the votes, while Nicolas Sarkozy secured 48.36% of the votes in the second round.[3] Sarkozy became the first one-term president since Valéry Giscard d'Estaing lost to François Mitterrand in 1981.

First round[edit]

By Department[edit]

Department François Hollande Nicolas Sarkozy Marine Le Pen Jean-Luc Mélenchon François Bayrou Eva Joly Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Philippe Poutou Nathalie Arthaud Jacques Cheminade
Paris 345,635 319,482 61,503 110,101 92,664 41,495 9,959 6,644 2,719 2,272
Seine-et-Marne 178,537 176,116 126,889 71,097 55,187 12,684 14,055 6,584 2,995 1,654
Yvelines 196,485 246,328 89,491 65,520 80,848 17,974 12,434 5,720 2,505 2,008
Essonne 181,506 152,079 90,760 73,240 55,738 14,027 20,392 5,591 2,462 1,456
Hauts-de-Seine 221,233 256,570 62,447 75,911 78,397 20,086 9,851 5,031 2,187 1,939
Seine-Saint-Denis 206,537 104,010 72,335 90,710 32,661 11,781 6,978 4,936 2,708 1,259
Val-de-Marne 192,781 155,552 69,399 81,950 51,892 15,392 9,735 4,946 2,217 1,498
Val-de Oise 172,658 139,863 83,102 63,679 44,683 10,907 9,049 5,109 2,340 1,325
Ardennes 44,441 37,524 37,628 14,260 11,551 1,868 2,787 1,981 1,185 366
Aube 36,967 49,196 40,740 12,860 13,575 2,294 3,524 1,632 990 407
Marne 71,432 88,707 66,640 25,292 28,210 4,482 6,029 3,534 1,949 712
Haute-Marne 25,970 30,604 27,624 9,720 8,712 1,506 2,637 1,455 860 265
Aisne 80,751 72,090 78,452 30,360 19,895 3,455 5,853 3,860 2,490 738
Oise 108,574 115,926 109,339 44,057 33,160 6,598 8,505 5,338 3,391 1,081
Somme 93,379 78,680 78,250 36,213 24,066 4,031 6,653 4,222 2,917 726
Eure 82,464 92,910 76,104 34,572 28,144 5,544 7,074 4,584 2,189 890
Seine-Maritime 204,448 174,024 131,416 91,759 54,446 11,356 12,445 8,918 4,918 1,671
Cher 48,608 45,331 35,825 25,079 16,048 2,861 3,825 2,218 1,387 433
Eure-et-Loir 60,882 69,591 49,067 21,230 21,842 3,788 5,307 2,899 1,587 622
Indre 41,505 33,564 27,164 15,645 12,473 2,015 3,014 1,985 1,190 393
Indre-et-Loire 94,210 94,680 53,586 36,657 34,420 7,488 6,738 4,303 2,272 901
Loir-et-Cher 49,347 55,944 41,190 19,437 19,256 3,418 4,213 2,594 1,384 518
Loiret 90,617 104,350 73,264 33,923 33,133 6,744 7,512 3,610 2,007 885
Calvados 117,773 109,745 65,126 42,396 40,562 8,569 8,227 5,385 2,641 1,008
Manche 82,773 88,234 50,927 30,167 34,272 5,601 6,936 4,131 2,206 882
Orne 42,159 51,498 34,757 15,501 18,326 3,109 4,173 2,515 1,294 422
Côte-d'Or 80,321 82,588 54,472 27,496 27,086 6,073 5,640 3,070 1,631 694
Nièvre 42,631 29,400 25,565 15,601 9,746 2,143 2,563 1,675 934 338
Saône-et-Loire 93,198 84,499 65,054 34,548 28,683 5,435 6,588 3,971 2,048 802
Yonne 46,667 53,719 46,057 19,540 16,472 3,426 4,310 2,477 1,324 484
Nord 383,471 338,714 300,362 173,037 102,511 23,976 21,160 15,138 9,545 3,185
Pas-de-Calais 249,971 185,632 216,753 97,974 54,354 10,315 14,122 10,948 7,246 1,824
Meurthe-et-Moselle 108,870 94,415 82,538 47,042 33,871 7,058 7,447 4,988 2,582 1,092
Meuse 26,313 29,863 29,038 9,951 10,375 1,794 2,299 1,688 789 344
Moselle 140,323 148,328 141,477 54,455 53,160 9,875 10,658 7,924 4,350 1,522
Vosges 56,495 57,964 55,339 22,162 21,516 4,026 5,450 3,573 1,716 661
Bas-Rhin 114,702 196,968 124,264 42,302 69,940 16,188 10,141 5,993 3,779 1,655
Haut-Rhin 76,580 129,349 94,988 30,076 46,176 10,980 8,508 4,824 2,608 1,322
Doubs 76,592 83,036 55,921 31,936 25,639 6,847 5,364 3,445 1,882 750
Jura 37,910 39,808 31,458 19,338 14,819 3,691 3,532 2,028 1,084 425
Haute-Saône 38,661 36,967 36,807 14,125 11,147 2,315 2,982 1,999 1,126 407
Territoire de Belfort 19,484 17,891 17,786 8,547 6,630 1,516 1,343 988 523 215
Loire-Atlantique 245,708 201,671 94,249 90,140 87,453 24,410 14,238 9,635 4,458 1,760
Maine-et-Loire 123,534 136,420 63,252 42,601 58,196 10,737 10,087 6,338 3,426 1,182
Mayenne 47,146 55,945 26,930 15,136 25,118 3,864 3,897 2,392 1,415 428
Sarthe 91,722 86,174 62,516 35,143 29,802 6,153 7,012 4,379 2,452 749
Vendée 101,079 133,985 61,859 34,471 49,402 7,652 9,486 5,893 2,584 973
Côtes-d'Armor 125,333 90,555 51,552 46,303 40,240 10,545 6,494 5,054 2,552 909
Finistère 188,720 136,994 67,101 64,505 63,121 16,536 9,944 8,273 3,347 1,531
Ille-et-Vilaine 183,935 150,685 71,727 59,901 71,491 18,367 10,601 7,066 3,876 1,377
Morbihan 130,453 129,838 71,715 47,220 50,050 12,948 8,548 6,300 2,818 1,268
Charente 68,691 48,291 37,121 23,707 18,461 3,843 4,278 3,084 1,460 523
Charente Maritime 107,821 106,431 66,076 39,313 34,381 8,378 7,900 5,392 2,161 888
Deux-Sèvres 73,911 55,462 30,077 22,709 24,395 4,480 4,952 3,550 1,612 567
Vienne 78,591 60,188 40,321 27,037 23,565 5,335 5,038 3,321 1,741 553
Dordogne 83,050 59,347 44,035 35,489 20,898 5,525 4,847 3,533 1,480 610
Gironde 260,043 203,396 127,811 96,165 79,277 19,940 13,082 13,626 3,671 1,895
Landes 79,861 59,887 34,381 30,508 25,437 4,466 4,008 3,605 1,161 516
Lot-et-Garonne 52,893 49,768 42,080 22,966 17,394 3,775 3,522 2,699 974 461
Pyrénées-Atlantiques 117,823 92,967 47,844 46,749 61,681 11,345 5,728 6,812 1,826 882
Ariège 33,003 17,979 16,125 16,197 6,411 2,742 1,446 1,396 528 221
Aveyron 53,493 46,351 25,619 22,282 22,809 4,243 3,095 2,417 969 435
Haute-Garonne 227,695 158,407 106,161 92,798 64,648 21,069 10,601 7,672 2,839 1,703
Gers 38,446 29,133 19,190 14,558 12,003 2,715 2,191 1,486 646 298
Lot 39,369 24,447 15,376 16,400 10,648 3,046 2,212 1,650 623 299
Hautes-Pyrénées 47,983 29,512 21,580 21,934 15,265 3,007 2,376 1,967 780 300
Tarn 72,647 55,099 44,806 28,800 21,724 5,064 3,850 2,962 1,212 550
Tarn-et-Garonne 40,297 36,666 32,228 16,313 12,075 2,867 2,564 1,769 698 367
Corrèze 67,070 33,706 20,784 16,462 10,824 2,155 2,577 1,581 659 277
Creuse 26,447 17,280 12,651 10,117 6,476 1,369 1,502 1,156 557 195
Haute-Vienne 78,249 43,225 35,821 31,304 17,189 3,925 3,634 2,641 1,435 516
Ain 73,096 97,722 66,540 30,898 32,650 7,268 7,208 3,323 1,794 860
Ardèche 52,156 47,687 40,216 28,247 18,373 5,621 3,890 2,750 1,257 521
Drôme 72,207 75,291 60,424 34,877 25,610 8,263 5,578 3,187 2,057 759
Isère 185,538 166,290 126,377 82,657 60,608 20,189 12,658 6,846 3,450 1,726
Loire 109,122 103,410 88,877 46,104 40,209 8,090 8,705 4,464 2,503 939
Rhône 237,779 271,922 133,322 94,876 91,042 25,611 15,203 7,412 4,220 2,264
Savoie 57,469 69,544 45,993 27,875 24,034 8,313 5,120 2,890 1,213 664
Haute-Savoie 82,482 136,946 66,583 37,117 47,547 14,446 9,345 4,514 1,793 1,242
Allier 61,131 49,477 37,736 27,969 17,814 3,232 4,068 2,584 1,482 457
Cantal 30,353 28,151 14,877 8,836 10,980 1,534 1,630 1,218 587 240
Haute-Loire 38,253 35,438 29,600 16,214 16,212 3,041 3,021 1,931 1,067 322
Puy-de-Dôme 122,244 79,124 57,555 51,691 36,771 7,549 6,555 4,595 2,372 988
Aude 65,783 46,801 50,234 28,456 13,076 4,516 3,184 2,724 1,116 458
Gard 100,778 103,927 106,646 55,731 28,893 8,855 6,087 4,215 1,946 948
Hérault 160,931 152,614 134,343 80,036 41,351 15,223 8,462 6,221 2,397 1,366
Lozère 12,579 13,885 8,650 6,208 5,505 1,307 843 647 263 119
Pyrénées-Orientales 68,593 66,870 64,007 33,739 16,608 5,564 3,652 3,265 1,305 591
Alpes-de Haute-Provence 24,551 25,668 20,875 15,269 7,483 2,933 1,845 1,394 487 283
Haute Alpes 21,248 22,655 15,359 12,175 8,559 3,147 1,782 1,152 488 212
Alpes-Maritimes 111,990 216,738 136,982 49,493 38,980 12,556 9,241 4,048 1,576 1,238
Bouches-du-Rhône 255,052 286,175 243,348 139,719 66,082 21,977 14,087 8,293 3,641 2,249
Var 118,023 209,233 149,187 54,553 40,004 11,334 9,809 5,239 2,094 1,254
Vaucluse 69,878 85,898 84,585 34,879 21,070 7,062 4,679 2,981 1,207 650
Corse-du-Sud 16,540 23,623 19,081 7,191 4,069 1,658 797 873 220 163
Haute-Corse 22,489 26,869 20,128 8,643 3,981 2,020 930 1,001 282 174
Guadeloupe 82,735 33,973 7,486 7,806 6,861 2,134 1,237 1,151 1,335 441
Martinique 76,034 38,443 6,960 8,600 8,681 2,275 1,563 1,712 1,442 560
French Guiana 15,943 10,174 3,920 2,952 2,329 843 416 479 208 148
Réunion 194,009 65,377 37,549 24,503 24,853 7,737 3,631 3,170 2,190 1,066
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 888 488 416 399 194 43 64 103 23 13
Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin 2,151 3,504 975 473 473 208 92 85 44 28
Mayotte 13,152 17,536 996 944 1,505 789 395 299 192 175
Wallis and Futuna 3,093 2,414 152 76 410 100 43 42 48 29
French Polynesia 29,130 40,611 5,151 2,492 5,139 3,392 2,484 532 510 378
New Caledonia 22,235 44,302 10,409 2,927 4,579 2,336 833 874 485 279
Source: European Election Database

By Region[edit]

Region François Hollande Nicolas Sarkozy Marine Le Pen Jean-Luc Mélenchon François Bayrou Eva Joly Nicolas Dupont-Aignan Philippe Poutou Nathalie Arthaud Jacques Cheminade
Île de France 1,695,372 1,550,000 655,926 632,208 492,070 144,346 92,453 44,561 20,133 13,411
Champagne-Ardenne 178,810 206,031 172,632 62,132 62,048 10,150 14,977 8,602 4,984 1,750
Picardy 282,704 266,696 266,041 110,630 77,121 14,084 21,011 13,420 8,798 2,545
Upper Normandy 286,912 266,934 207,520 126,331 82,590 16,900 19,519 13,502 7,107 2,561
Centre 385,169 403,460 280,096 151,971 137,172 26,314 30,609 17,609 9,827 3,752
Lower Normandy 242,705 249,477 150,810 88,064 93,160 17,279 19,336 12,031 6,141 2,312
Burgundy 262,817 250,206 191,148 97,185 81,987 17,077 19,101 11,193 5,937 2,318
Nord-Pas-de-Calais 633,442 524,346 517,115 271,011 156,865 34,291 35,282 26,086 16,791 5,009
Lorraine 332,001 330,570 308,392 133,610 118,922 22,753 25,854 18,173 9,437 3,619
Alsace 191,282 326,317 219,252 72,378 116,116 27,168 18,649 10,817 6,387 2,977
Franche-Comté 172,647 177,702 141,972 73,946 58,235 14,369 13,221 8,460 4,615 1,797
Pays de la Loire 609,189 614,195 308,806 217,491 249,971 52,816 44,720 28,637 14,335 5,092
Brittany 628,441 508,072 262,095 217,929 224,902 58,396 35,587 26,693 12,593 5,085
Poitou-Charentes 329,014 270,372 173,595 112,766 100,802 22,036 22,168 15,347 6,974 2,531
Aquitaine 593,670 465,365 296,151 231,877 204,687 45,051 31,187 30,275 9,112 4,364
Midi-Pyrénées 552,933 397,594 281,085 229,282 165,583 44,753 28,335 21,319 8,295 4,173
Limousin 171,766 94,211 69,256 57,883 34,489 7,449 7,713 5,378 2,651 988
Rhône-Alpes 869,849 968,812 628,332 382,651 340,073 97,801 67,707 35,386 18,287 8,975
Auvergne 251,981 192,190 139,768 104,710 81,777 15,356 15,274 10,328 5,508 2,007
Languedoc-Roussillon 408,664 384,097 363,880 204,170 105,433 35,465 22,228 17,072 7,027 3,482
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 600,742 846,367 650,336 306,088 182,178 59,009 41,443 23,107 9,493 5,886
Corsica 39,029 50,492 39,209 15,834 8,050 3,678 1,727 1,874 502 337
Guadeloupe 82,735 33,973 7,486 7,806 6,861 2,134 1,237 1,151 1,335 441
Martinique 76,034 38,443 6,960 8,600 8,681 2,275 1,563 1,712 1,442 560
French Guiana 15,943 10,174 3,920 2,952 2,329 843 416 479 208 148
Réunion 194,009 65,377 37,549 24,503 24,853 7,737 3,631 3,170 2,190 1,066
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 888 488 416 399 194 43 64 103 23 13
Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin 2,151 3,504 975 473 473 208 92 85 44 28
Mayotte 13,152 17,536 996 944 1,505 789 395 299 192 175
Wallis and Futuna 3,093 2,414 152 76 410 100 43 42 48 29
French Polynesia 29,130 40,611 5,151 2,492 5,139 3,392 2,484 532 510 378
New Caledonia 22,235 44,302 10,409 2,927 4,579 2,336 833 874 485 279
Source: European Election Database

Second round[edit]

By Department[edit]

Department François Hollande Nicolas Sarkozy
Paris 560,461 447,500
Seine-et-Marne 315,566 325,147
Yvelines 333,057 395,697
Essonne 317,663 276,859
Hauts-de-Seine 369,128 376,816
Seine-Saint-Denis 353,260 187,562
Val-de-Marne 333,347 256,900
Val-de Oise 289,520 247,541
Ardennes 75,630 70,119
Aube 65,548 88,210
Marne 126,155 156,159
Haute-Marne 46,965 56,085
Aisne 147,260 133,760
Oise 195,701 217,732
Somme 170,529 142,894
Eure 151,327 166,949
Seine-Maritime 366,616 300,657
Cher 92,857 78,959
Eure-et-Loir 105,676 121,452
Indre 73,616 58,643
Indre-et-Loire 165,293 157,374
Loir-et-Cher 89,182 98,275
Loiret 156,289 183,671
Calvados 205,525 181,423
Manche 147,005 147,590
Orne 77,579 87,087
Côte-d'Or 134,929 143,559
Nièvre 73,424 51,421
Saône-et-Loire 160,751 149,243
Yonne 86,610 98,122
Nord 692,273 616,882
Pas-de-Calais 450,103 351,015
Meurthe-et-Moselle 196,628 173,929
Meuse 48,860 56,898
Moselle 253,371 291,278
Vosges 105,371 109,404
Bas-Rhin 206,891 359,011
Haut-Rhin 142,724 246,527
Doubs 134,568 145,269
Jura 72,321 74,004
Haute-Saône 68,653 69,658
Territoire de Belfort 35,865 35,121
Loire-Atlantique 419,484 324,893
Maine-et-Loire 213,611 223,644
Mayenne 81,922 92,647
Sarthe 162,975 146,454
Vendée 173,717 217,449
Côtes-d'Armor 217,604 150,035
Finistère 319,304 223,115
Ille-et-Vilaine 309,763 246,303
Morbihan 229,248 213,893
Charente 118,100 82,648
Charente-Maritime 188,387 176,944
Deux-Sèvres 122,858 91,527
Vienne 134,875 101,138
Dordogne 148,011 102,280
Gironde 448,634 343,866
Landes 134,872 101,792
Lot-et-Garonne 96,766 91,663
Pyrénées-Atlantiques 218,964 164,374
Ariège 59,466 32,452
Aveyron 95,297 79,802
Haute-Garonne 388,811 272,683
Gers 65,605 50,221
Lot 67,981 41,862
Hautes-Pyrénées 86,803 52,154
Tarn 125,132 100,109
Tarn-et-Garonne 71,186 67,705
Corrèze 98,764 53,502
Creuse 45,870 29,306
Haute-Vienne 133,467 75,095
Ain 131,365 175,706
Ardèche 101,526 88,429
Drôme 134,959 139,436
Isère 331,448 304,429
Loire 196,522 192,621
Rhône 408,899 443,370
Savoie 108,691 122,228
Haute-Savoie 154,622 232,928
Allier 111,615 84,593
Cantal 49,543 46,097
Haute-Loire 70,488 66,703
Puy-de-Dôme 212,750 139,145
Aude 115,398 89,793
Gard 193,487 202,995
Hérault 296,422 281,240
Lozère 23,991 24,036
Pyrénées-Orientales 127,625 124,668
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence 49,498 47,444
Hautes-Alpes 42,624 41,098
Alpes-Maritimes 203,708 365,813
Bouches-du-Rhône 474,704 531,652
Var 217,383 364,467
Vaucluse 130,278 168,753
Corse-du-Sud 30,791 41,834
Haute-Corse 39,357 46,965
Guadeloupe 123,821 48,292
Martinique 114,527 52,829
French Guiana 25,880 15,830
Réunion 286,109 114,120
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 2,080 1,105
Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin 3,851 5,641
Mayotte 18,948 19,677
Wallis and Futuna 3,795 2,974
French Polynesia 50,097 57,080
New Caledonia 36,239 61,772
Source: European Election Database

By Region[edit]

Region François Hollande Nicolas Sarkozy
Île-de-France 2,872,002 2,514,022
Champagne-Ardenne 314,298 370,573
Picardy 513,490 494,386
Upper Normandy 517,943 467,606
Centre-Val de Loire 682,913 698,374
Lower Normandy 430,109 416,100
Burgundy 455,714 442,345
Nord-Pas-de-Calais 1,142,376 967,897
Lorraine 604,230 631,509
Alsace 349,615 605,538
Franche-Comté 311,407 324,052
Pays de la Loire 1,051,709 1,005,087
Brittany 1,075,919 833,346
Poitou-Charentes 564,220 452,257
Aquitaine 1,047,247 803,975
Midi-Pyrénées 960,281 696,988
Limousin 278,101 157,903
Rhône-Alpes 1,568,032 1,699,147
Auvergne 444,396 336,538
Languedoc-Roussillon 756,923 722,732
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 1,118,195 1,519,227
Corsica 70,148 88,799
Guadeloupe 123,821 48,292
Martinique 114,527 52,829
French Guiana 25,880 15,830
Réunion 286,109 114,120
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 2,080 1,105
Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin 3,851 5,641
Mayotte 18,948 19,677
Wallis and Futuna 3,795 2,974
French Polynesia 50,097 57,080
New Caledonia 36,239 61,772
Source: European Election Database

Primaries[edit]

Socialist Party[edit]

The 2011 French Socialist Party presidential primary was the first open primary (primaires citoyennes), jointly held by the French Socialist Party and Radical Party of the Left[4][5][6] for selecting their candidate for the 2012 presidential election. Voters had to donate at least one Euro and sign a pledge to the values of the Left to be eligible.[7][8] The filing deadline for primary nomination papers was fixed on 13 July 2011 and six candidates competed in the first round of the vote. On election day, 9 October 2011, no candidate won at least 50% of the vote therefore the two candidates with the most votes contested a runoff election on 16 October 2011: François Hollande won the primary, defeating Martine Aubry.[9] The idea for holding an open primary to choose the Socialist Party candidate was originally suggested in 2008 by the left-leaning think tank Terra Nova.[10]

Europe Écologie–The Greens[edit]

Europe Écologie–The Greens (EELV) held a primary to choose its candidate. The vote was open to all members of the party and of the Independent Ecological Movement. There were four candidates. The first round was held on 29 June 2011. Eva Joly, a member of EELV and a former examining magistrate, obtained 49.75% of the vote, ahead of independent candidate and environmental campaigner Nicolas Hulot (40.22%). The other two candidates, Henri Stoll and Stéphane Lhomme, obtained 5.02% and 4.44% respectively. The second round was held on 12 July, with Eva Joly obtaining 13,223 votes (58.16%) to Hulot's 9,399.[11]

First round[edit]

Candidates[edit]

In order to qualify for the first round of voting, a candidate had to collect the signatures of at least five hundred elected representatives among a total of more than 47,000; these could be mayors, general councillors, regional councillors, deputies, senators, members of the European Parliament elected in France.[12] Ten candidates qualified in 2012:[13]

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Campaign[edit]

The official campaign began on 20 March, but in the wake of the shooting at the Ozar Hatorah day school in Toulouse the two leading candidates, Hollande and Sarkozy, suspended their campaigns.[23] Although Jean-Luc Mélenchon argued that to continue with the campaign was "an act of moral, emotional and intellectual resistance."[24] In some parts of the media, Sarkozy and Le Pen were also criticised for misusing the Midi-Pyrénées shootings as campaign fodder against "radical Islam."[25]

The following is a brief overview of the campaign adapted from information in Le Monde.[26]

François Hollande[edit]

François Hollande, the candidate of the Socialist Party and the Radical Party of the Left, topped the opinion polls throughout the campaign. He emphasised his promise to be a "normal" president, in contrast to Nicolas Sarkozy's sometimes controversial presidential style. He aims to resorb France's national debt by 2017, notably by cancelling tax cuts for the wealthy and tax exemptions introduced by President Sarkozy. Income tax would be raised to 75% for incomes beyond one million euros; the retirement age would be brought back to 60 (with a full pension) for persons who have worked 42 years; 60 000 jobs cut by Nicolas Sarkozy in public education would be recreated. Homosexual couples would have the right to marry and adopt. Residents without European Union passports would be given the right to vote in local elections after five years of legal residency. On housing, he has promised to regulate rises in rent; to use punitive measures to compel towns and cities to apply the 2000 Law on Solidarity and Urban Renewal (French article on the law), which mandates the providing of social housing; and to provide public lands for the building of social housing. Hollande won the election, finishing first on the first balloting of ten candidates in April with 28.63% of the vote, and again finishing first on the runoff ballot between himself and Sarkozy with 51.64% against Sarkozy's 48.36%.[27]

Nicolas Sarkozy[edit]

Nicolas Sarkozy, the incumbent president and candidate of the Union for a Popular Movement, was aiming for a second and last term in office. He was consistently second in opinion polls throughout the campaign, behind François Hollande. His reforms during his first term included a reform of universities, and of the retirement age; a reform enabling citizens to query the constitutionality of laws; and a reduction in the number of public sector employees. He argued that his reforms had helped steer France through a period of economic crisis. His campaign pledges for his potential second term are described by Le Monde as "anchored on the right". He has promised to reduce legal immigration by 50%; threatened to withdraw France from the Schengen Area unless it were revised to enable stricter border controls; promised to compel beneficiaries of the Revenu de solidarité active to accept certain jobs, in exchange for support in finding them; and opposed Hollande's proposals in favour of gay marriage and voting rights for foreign residents in local elections. He has also promised more frequent referenda, for citizens to be consulted on major issues.

Sarkozy admitted during the campaign that he did not visit Fukushima while in Japan after the previous year's earthquake and tsunami, despite having previously said he had done so.[28]

Marine Le Pen[edit]

Marine Le Pen is the candidate of the National Front, succeeding her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was a candidate in five presidential elections. Aiming to reach the second round, as her father had done in 2002, she also attempted to provide a different image of the party, avoiding the neo-fascist and anti-Semitic statements previously made by her father. She has advocated "national preference" for French citizens (over foreign residents) for access to jobs and social services, and a form of protectionism, as well as withdrawing from the euro and the European Union. She has advocated reducing legal immigration by 95%, abolishing the right to family reunification, and reinstating the death penalty, abolished in 1981 by then president François Mitterrand. She held the third place in opinion polls for much of the campaign, occasionally rising into first and second place in 2011 or dipping to fourth behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon, but remained consistently behind Hollande and Sarkozy by 2012. She finished the 2012 balloting with 17.90% of the vote tally, placing her third in the final results.[29]

Jean-Luc Mélenchon[edit]

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the candidate of the Left Front, which includes in particular the French Communist Party and the Left Party. (He is a member of the latter.) He has been described as the surprise or revelation of the campaign, with his level of support in opinion polls rising from 5% in October 2011 to around 15% (and sometimes up to 17%) by the end of the campaign. He finished in the first round of balloting with 11.10% of the national electorate, placing him fourth in the field of 10 candidates.[30] He inaugurated the practice of giant open-air meetings, which the two leading candidates then adopted in turn. A former French teacher, he was noted for his eloquent style and oratory, but also for his argumentative relationship with journalists, and occasional insults; he notably described Marine Le Pen as "half-demented". He proposed raising the minimum wage to €1,700; setting a maximum wage differential of 1 to 20 in all businesses, so that employers wishing to increase their own salaries would also have to increase those of their employees; setting social and environmental norms which businesses would have to respect in order to receive public subsidies; supporting social enterprises through government procurement; taxing imports which do not meet certain social and environmental norms; and reestablishing 60 as the legal retirement age with a full pension. There would be an "ecological planification" towards a green, sustainable economy, backed by a "green rule" (règle verte) to be inscribed in the Constitution. On tax, he has proposed a progressive taxation, with higher taxes on the wealthy and a 100% tax rate beyond an income of €360,000 (thereby creating a maximum wage); expatriate French nationals established in a country with a lower tax rate than in France would pay the difference in tax in France. Businesses creating jobs, paying higher wages and/or providing training would receive tax cuts. Healthcare costs would be fully reimbursed by the state, and the right to die would be recognised. The right to abortion would be secured through inclusion in the Constitution. Homosexual couples would have the right to marry and adopt. Naturalisation of foreign residents would be facilitated, and foreign residents would have the right to vote in local elections. A constitutional convention would be assembled, with an aim in particular to increase the prerogatives of Parliament and diminish the powers of the President; all elections would be based on proportional representation, with gender parity.

François Bayrou[edit]

François Bayrou is the candidate of the Democratic Movement, which he founded in 2007. He is one of only two candidates to stand in both the 2007 and 2012 elections (the other being Nicolas Sarkozy); he obtained 18.57% of the vote in 2007, finishing third. In the 2012 election he received 9.13% of the vote in the first round of balloting, finishing fifth.[31] He stands for an independent centre in politics, which he has sought to distinguish clearly both from the left and the right. Describing France as being "in a critical state", he has focused on reducing the country's national debt, through a public spending freeze, cuts to tax exemptions, and a raise in taxes (Value added tax and taxes on the wealthy). On education, he has proposed that half the time in primary school should be dedicated to the mastering of reading and writing.

Eva Joly[edit]

Eva Joly is the candidate of Europe Écologie–The Greens. Before entering politics for this election, she was a known public figure, as the examining magistrate in criminal corruption cases involving powerful companies or individuals – notably the Elf Aquitaine oil company, the Crédit Lyonnais bank or businessman and politician Bernard Tapie. (See: Elf affair (fr).) She is also the first foreign-born person to stand for the French presidency; born in Norway, she is a naturalized French citizen. She focused her campaign not only on the environment but also on social issues, describing herself as the representative of the "reasonable" or "realistic" left, and on denouncing discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities. Homosexual couples would be given the right to marry and adopt, and foreign residents would have the right to vote in all elections. She suggested that the "ecological transformation of the economy" would create 600 000 jobs over the next five years. An agreement signed between her party and the Socialist Party contained a clause on the closing of nuclear reactors; in the final stages of the campaign, when François Hollande announced it would not be upheld, she expressed the hope she could still convince him. She also drew attention by accusing Nicolas Sarkozy of having obtained illicit funding for his previous campaign; critics accused her of ignoring the presumption of innocence, and Sarkozy himself replied that he "despised" her accusations. Known for her bright red glasses, which she symbolically switched for bright green ones, she was described by the press as struggling with her campaign, barely reaching 3% in opinion polls.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan[edit]

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, described as an "anti-euro souverainist", is the candidate of Arise the Republic, a party he founded in 2008. He has advocated leaving the euro on grounds of economic well-being, and the European Union "in its current form", which he describes as "already dead" and leading to "economic ruin and social regression". He has called for an "intelligent protectionism", with tariffs on imports that result from "human slavery"; and tax cuts for businesses that reinvest their profits in France. He has described himself as a Gaullist.

Philippe Poutou[edit]

Philippe Poutou, a worker in a car factory, is the candidate of the New Anticapitalist Party, succeeding Olivier Besancenot. For much of the campaign, he remained little known to the general public; he was described as lacking Besancenot's popularity, charisma and ease with words. Freely admitting that he did not particularly want to be a candidate, and that he did not aim to be elected (particularly as one of his policies was to abolish the function of president, in favour of a fully parliamentary system), he saw his profile and popularity increase somewhat in the late stages of the campaign, when all candidates obtained equal airtime in the media. In particular, his unconventional behaviour drew attention during the television programme Des paroles et des actes (fr), along with his unusual campaign clips – such as one based on the film The Artist.[32][33] Like Nathalie Arthaud, his message was that improvements in workers' rights would come through workers' struggles and demands rather than through the ballot box.

Nathalie Arthaud[edit]

Nathalie Arthaud, a teacher of economics and management in a secondary school, is the candidate of Workers' Struggle. She succeeds famous perennial candidate Arlette Laguiller, who represented the party in six consecutive presidential elections, from 1974 to 2007. A Trotskyist, she has described herself as the "only communist candidate" in the election. She has stated that she does not aim to be elected, describing elections as "inessential", and considering that workers will obtain new rights only through their struggles rather than through the ballot box.

Jacques Cheminade[edit]

Jacques Cheminade is the candidate of his Solidarity and Progress movement, the French branch of the LaRouche movement. Described as a "conspiracy theorist" by the press, he drew some attention with his proposals for an expanded space programme, and stagnated slightly above 0% in the opinion polls.

Second round[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

François Hollande at a meeting during 2012 political campaign.

Since the first round there has been a drive to woo far-right voters[34] with Sarkozy making immigration a major issue of his campaign and Hollande focussing on the euro-zone crisis and the state of the economy.[35] Sarkozy's move to the right in embracing National Front themes such as stricter immigration has drawn criticism from prominent figures from his own party such as former Prime Ministers Dominique de Villepin, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Alain Juppé and Senators Chantal Jouanno and Jean-René Lecerf.[36] There was more criticism of the German-led austerity measures by Hollande,[37] while he also responded to Sarkozy's words at a rally in Toulouse saying that "without borders there is no nation, there is no Republic, there is no civilisation. We are not superior to others but we are different." In turn Hollande told a bigger rally in Paris that "I want victory, but not at any price, not at the price of caricature and lies. I want to win over the men and women who are angry, a hundred times yes, but compromise myself? A thousand times no."[38] Sarkozy reiterated threats to withdraw from the Schengen Agreement if there was no tightening of border controls. He also said that there would be a presumption of self-defense when police are involved in the killing of suspects and criticised the EU's lack of mention of Europe's Christian roots in its constitution. Many of the issues were similar to that of the National Front, from which Sarkozy's UMP gained votes between the 2002 and 2007 election. He further spoke "to those French who stay home, don’t complain when Francois Hollande is elected and regularizes all illegal immigrants and lets foreigners vote."[39]

Le Pen stated she would submit a blank ballot in the run-off, calling on her supporters to make their own choices.[40] Bayrou announced on 3 May that he would vote for Hollande.[41] German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said she saw nothing "normal" in Hollande, despite his attempts to portray himself as such; instead she supported Sarkozy's campaign.[42] Campaigning officially ended on 4 May.[43]

In the last government bond sale before the election, the previously rising yields fell slightly, while the amount sold was marginally lower than expected.[44]

International effect

The campaign has led to a "certain degree of gridlock in EU‘s corridors of power". It's unclear who will be the head of the Euro Group, who will join the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) and who will lead the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).[45]

Endorsements[edit]

In the days before the election, editorials in the main newspapers expressed opinions about the two candidates. Le Monde did not explicitly support one or the other, but wrote that Hollande "has confirmed, between the two rounds, his consistency, albeit without addressing the vagueness of some of his own proposals", while Sarkozy "has demonstrated his inconsistency, first running after the National Front, crossing the red line which had been set at the turn of the 1980s, and respected since then in the ranks of the republican right, before moving back towards the centre to avoid a breakdown with his own side".[46] Libération supported Hollande:[47]

On the right, Nicolas Sarkozy has kept up a strategy of tension, leading his side into a transgression of its founding values. Whatever the outcome of the vote, the political landscape will remain, as a consequence, marked by a lasting and dangerous change. On the left, François Hollande has demonstrated that another vision of politics, another way of conceiving the State, another European politics are not only possible but within sight. And that, to finish, justice must be the cardinal virtue of societies such as ours, marked by a deep crisis and anger.

Le Figaro published an editorial in support of Sarkozy.[48]

Of the candidates who went out in the first round, Bayrou, Joly and Cheminade all explicitly declared their support for Hollande in the second round, while Mélenchon and Poutou urged their supporters to vote against Sarkozy. Dupont-Aignan backed Sarkozy, while Le Pen and Arthaud declined to support either candidate.

Debates[edit]

There was one televised debate between Hollande and Sarkozy, although Sarkozy said he would prefer three,[49] an idea Hollande rejected. This took place on 2 May.[50] Hollande accused Sarkozy of dividing the French and failing to lower unemployment. Hollande promised to be a president for social justice, economic recovery and national unity. Sarkozy was said to have told Hollande that his lack of experience in national government made him unfit for the task of leading the world‘s fifth-largest economy in a crisis.[51]

Opinion polls[edit]

Since his nomination in October 2011, François Hollande consistently led in the opinion polls, though after official campaigning began he began to see his lead narrow. Around late March 2012, polls started to show a narrow lead for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy,[52] although these began to subside in favour of Hollande prior to the actual 1st round of voting. Prospective runoff polls, taken before the 1st round as well as those taken immediately afterwards, indicate Hollande would beat Sarkozy by a margin between 6% and 10%.

Voting in overseas departments and territories[edit]

In overseas departments and territories of France located west of metropolitan France (Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guyana, and French Polynesia), voting takes place a day early, so that citizens in those territories and departments do not find themselves voting after the initial announcement of results. This is also the case for French residents in foreign countries west of metropolitan France. Some of these communities are remote; Amerindians in French Guiana, who are French citizens, "sometimes live more than three hours away by canoe from their ballot box", particularly in the large remote commune of Maripasoula. The electoral campaign papers sent to these voters, however, reportedly indicated 22 April as the day of the election, instead of 21 April.[53]

Post election[edit]

French law sets a blackout of the release of exit polls until the last polling station is closed at 20:00, with fines of up to €75,000. However, the result was leaked on Twitter, circumventing the law with code names: "Flanby" for Hollande, "le nain" (midget) for Sarkozy, Titanic for Marine Le Pen, or Tomate for Mélenchon, as well as other humorous names and metaphors were also used such as Amsterdam (for Hollande), Budapest (for Sarkozy, who has Hungarian heritage), Berlin (for Le Pen, due to the Nazi past of Germany) and Moscow (for Mélenchon, due to the Communist past of Russia). The hashtag #RadioLondres was used as it recalls the coded messages from World War II sent by Radio Londres.[54] EU-based media outlets not subject to the French blackout law reported early exit poll results before closure of the polls, in both rounds of the election.[55][56][57] Olivier Cimelière reported that some people saw a risk of manipulating future elections.[58]

Reactions[edit]

Sarkozy called for UMP to "stay together. We must win the battle of the legislatives" and said that "in this new era, I will remain one of you, but my place will no longer be the same. My engagement with the life of my country will now be different, but time will never strain the bonds between us." Hollande then spoke at a victory rally in Tulle where he said:

He then travelled to Paris, where supporters of the Socialist Party gathered outside the headquarters.[2] He also said that "Europe is watching us. Austerity isn’t inevitable. My mission now is to give European construction a growth dimension."[59]

International Reactions[edit]

  •  Andorra – In electing the President of France, French citizens had also elected one of the two heads of state of Andorra. Prime Minister Antoni Martí congratulated François Hollande, expressing his confidence both in the continuation of the "excellent" relationship between Andorra and France, and in Hollande's awareness of the importance of his role as Co-Prince of Andorra. Jaume Bartumeu, of Andorra's Social Democratic Party (in opposition), described Hollande's victory as "the beginning of the resurgence of social democracy in Europe".[60][61]
  •  Belgium – Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo welcomed the election of his "friend", adding: "François Hollande's proposals on economic growth [...] will have a positive impact for all Europeans and on European authorities".[62]
  •  Denmark – Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt congratulated Hollande for his win.[63]
  •  Germany – Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her congratulations to Hollande and said that she and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle "agreed to discuss the kind of growth pact that Hollande has championed."[63]
  •  Italy – Prime Minister Mario Monti congratulated François Hollande, saying he looked forward to a "close collaboration" within the European framework, the aim of which would be "an ever-more efficient union with economic growth as its objective". He added that the results of the French and Greek elections required thinking about European policies, adding that in his view public spending should be concentrated on "productive investments" and avoid increasing debts.[62]
  •  Spain – Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed congratulations, saying he looked forward to "fruitful bilateral and Europeans relations" with the new president.[62]
  •  United Kingdom – Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated François Hollande and said he looked forward to the two countries maintaining their "very close relationship". Opposition Leader Ed Miliband applauded Hollande's "determination to help create a Europe focused on growth and job creation, in a responsible and sustainable manner. [...] We are in great need of this new direction as Europe seeks to escape from austerity. I'm impatient to work with him in the months and years to come".[62]
  •  United States – President Barack Obama congratulated Hollande for his victory and invited him to the White House.[63]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]