The last of the polls have just closed for the second round of the French Presidential election of 2012. Exit pollsters have been talking discretely about a Socialist victory since the beginning of the afternoon and their verdict is now official. Whether François Hollande has won with a margin of 52.5% to 47.5% for Nicolas Sarkozy or even more than that, it is enough to bring the Socialists back to the Elysée Palace for the first time since 1995.
I didn’t vote. I’m not entitled to in this country. For I am one of the 7.2 million foreign citizens living in France. Whilst I am unable to sound off about national politics in the ballot box, this blog is my 2 cents.
I have been what can awkwardly be described as “centre-left”, politically speaking. The word “Socialist” seems to me to be somewhat antiquated; the word “Social-Democrat” smacks of something that came out of a focus group. So left’s stay with “centre-left”. Why is that important? Because this blog seeks to be a critical but interested (politically speaking) tool to both explain and analyse the progress of the new French left-wing administration. I’m a market-friendly, capitalist who believes in private enterprise and wealth creation, but I don’t see any contradiction with an element of state intervention in serious cases, I don’t have an issue with regulating the market and I am in favour of social safety nets. Whether the French government that will now begin to move into their new offices, believe that is not at all clear.
So let’s see if I can maintain my balance on the tightrope that will be French politics for the next five years. And more importantly, whether those that have been elected can…