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It's tough to approximate a 2-party system onto the French election.

So what I did was add up the totals of Hollande and Melanchon (two major leftist candidates) and create a "Cook PVI" for each region of France.

This doesn't take into account Marine Le Pen, a strong third party candidate, but if you're curious, she was much stronger in the Northeast and Southeast of France and much weaker in the Center West, Northwest, and Paris Suburbs.

Paris hasn't reported yet, but it's too small to fit on the map anyway.

One amazing thing (compared to the US) is how close all the regions of France are compared to the national totals.

If there were a French electoral college, every region but Alsace, Champagne, and Corsica (France's Oklahoma, Idaho, and Utah) and Limousin and Midi Pyrenees (France's Vermont and Massachusetts) would be a "swing state," having a PVI of less than 5.

Here's the map (colors are flipped, as in Europe red=left and blue=right).  Note that Alsace is such a dark shade of blue it appears to blend in with Germany, ironic if you know European history.


6:43 PM PT: Unlike in the US, overseas colonies can vote.

In Guiana, the Left is 12 points higher than the French average, but it's all at the expense of third and fourth parties.

In Guadeloupe, the Left is 23 points higher, but only 4 of those 23 are taken from Sarkozy; most are from Le Pen.

In Martinique, it's very similar to Guadeloupe, but a few points more conservative.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yup, (11+ / 0-)

    French elections are much less regionalist than US, Canadian, UK and German (Bavaria) elections. Various governments of France have made a strong effort for centuries to build a strong central state, first monarchy then republic.

    Also in France, while it is gradually changing, there is much less of an urban-rural divide than in Anglo countries. In western and southwestern France many rural areas are quite left-wing, due to strong anti-clerical traditions in many of these places. While the right still remains the ability to win in cities.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:30:26 PM PDT

  •  I think we'll have an easier time... (5+ / 0-)

    Figuring out what's happening once we have a two-person contest. This first round had so many different dynamics since there were so many different candidates and parties on the ballot.

  •  Very interesting diary (7+ / 0-)

    As I noted in the open thread, the lack of polarization in France as compared to the US is quite striking. I think it's because the source of most the polarization in the US stems from racial and religious polarization that is not nearly as salient in primarily white and secular France.

    In contrast, France seems divided primarily by class, region, and urban/rural divides, all of which tend to create less stark divisions by themselves in the US as well as in France (apparently).

    26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

    by okiedem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:39:42 PM PDT

    •  France is actually much LESS divided (7+ / 0-)

      by urban/rural.

      Nice was won by Sarkozy.  That's like McCain having won Philadelphia.

      On the other hand, 2 of the 3 most liberal "states" have no major city.  In the US, only Vermont is an overwhelmingly liberal state with no major city.

      19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at

      by jncca on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 06:44:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I said above, Sarkozy's "conservatism"... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, ChadmanFL

        Is nowhere near Romney's... And certainly nowhere near Santorum's! For goodness sake, the "tea party" would stone Sarkozy for both his personal life and his declarations of the necessity of the public sector!

        •  True, but his rhetoric often sounds Republican. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mdmslle, Wee Mama

          Listened to his debates with Royale in the last election, and he literally stated he favors the individual over the collective, hard work over state benefits etc etc. Sounded like he was an American Republican in rhetoric.

          Also, his aggressive personal style is reminiscent of the egomania of many Republican politicians and the Berlusconnis of the world.

          And his tactics-- very much GWB hardcore fear mongering and security state policies against terrorism, like the Republicans.

          It really can't be said that he has no Republican style policies and tactics, for he very much does. Take another look at the last election and Sarkozy made sure the media conglomerates in France became more monopolized in his favor, like Berlusconni and US Republicans.

          I can't stand that man. You have to really check out what he says and does. He can't dismantle the social welfare state 2because the French won't let him, but he has tried to reduce it. He certainly favors the rich and a sense of entitlement and pipsqueaky egomania where it's ok for him to moralize and point fingers, then he turns around behaves like it doesn't apply to him, like US Republicans do.

      •  I definitely agree it is less divided but... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gabjoh, mdmslle, Wee Mama

        A lot of the divide in America is a function of racial and religious divides. Moreover, within a given region, the largest cities seem to tend to be more friendly to the left than the surrounding rural areas (ie Strasbourg is one of the only areas of Bas-Rhin to vote for Hollande and Orleans was one the only areas to vote for him in Loiret).

        Certainly though I would agree that the urban/rural divide is much smaller on face and appears to be occasionally swamped by regional or class divides.

        26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

        by okiedem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Sarko might have won Lyon as well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mdmslle, Inoljt

        which is equally remarkable from a US (though not a French prospective) because it's the center of the second largest urban area in France.

        For that matter the fact that Paris is a quintessential swing Department is also pretty remarkable since the demographics are probably quite similar to Manhattan south of 96th Street, the Northside of Chicago, or NW DC, all of which are very very Democratic of course.

        26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

        by okiedem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:17:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Depends how you define major city (0+ / 0-)

        you're right in that Vermont is by far the state with the most rural liberals, but Western MA is up there too.

        22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Japan in July, hopeless Swingnut

        by sapelcovits on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:40:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maine doesn't really have any major cities either (0+ / 0-)

          and arguably neither does New Mexico (Albuquerque?), Hawaii (Honolulu?), or Iowa (Des Moines?).

          26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

          by okiedem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:45:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maine (0+ / 0-)

            is far less urbanized than New Mexico, Hawaii, or Iowa, I think.  This look at Census Data has it as the most rural state in the country, with 61.3% of the population in rural areas, and only Vermont is even close, with 61.1%.  Iowa and New Mexico are pretty un-urbanized, on that chart, but not like Maine and Vermont.  (It has Vermont as less urban than Maine, but Maine as more rural than Vermont, with more of Vermont in "small cities".)

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

            by Xenocrypt on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:59:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Although (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Vermont and "Baja Vermont" are far more liberal than Maine. I highly doubt those areas would have approved of Maine's 2009 Question 1 (and it was actually the "cities" that were voting against it in Maine!).

            22, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), moving to Japan in July, hopeless Swingnut

            by sapelcovits on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:10:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Lots of very wealthy people in the Nice area. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mdmslle, gabjoh

        Not sure if that's the dynamic for the result, but I'm guessing it is.

  •  Not colonies (7+ / 0-)

    Guiana, Guadeloupe and Matinique, along with Mayotte and Reunion are not colonies but "Overseas Departments" shortened in French to D.O.M.). As such they are an integral part of France and, incidentally, appear on the Euro bank notes

    The Euro is also the official currency in the smaller "overseas collectivities" which include St Pierre and Michélon, the remaining French territory in North America;  Saint Barthélemy and  St  Martin but not Wallis and Fortuna These have a similar status of self-governing dependent territories (local administrations without their own defense and foreign relations responsibilities) to British D.T.s like the Falklands and US DTs like the Virgin Islands.

    Incidentally, the USA and Canada form the North America constituency for the June 2012 legislative elections. It will have its own representative in the National Assembly - unlike for example the US or UK elections where those living overseas have a nominal constituency/congressional district.  

    Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:34:27 PM PDT

  •  Google's election results go to insane details if (6+ / 0-)

    you click through.  It warms my heart to see tiny villages in the Southwest of France voting by huge margins for the Left.  Vermont, France style?

    Ugh, but then there's entire swathes of the Southeast voting for the FN.  Boooo.

  •  Yay! A DKos electoral map I can instictively (5+ / 0-)

    understand. Here in Canada the Cons are blue and the left is red (if you want to call the Libs red; the real left is NDP orange). I always have to do a mind-switch looking at US maps.

    Interesting results here. What`s with Alsace; maybe WWI wasn`t such a good idea after all (I think we can all agree).

    Thanks for the coverage. I`m very glad to see Hollande in the lead, although the strong vote for le Pen is unsettling. In any case, a Socialist to replace Sarkosy is positive.

    -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

    by Wreck Smurfy on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 08:12:56 PM PDT

    •  le Pen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GayHillbilly, ChadmanFL

      I am not surprised at all by the strong showing of Marie le Pen. It's rather typical of some of what we have seen in European elections such as the election of the Sweden Democrats and the situation in Holland. I think you are going to see much more of this, frankly.

      •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if the situation continues to get worse for ordinary people, you're gonna see the center -left and -right parties discredited, and have to figure out ways to defend against the far right. (I have my own thoughts, but I'm massively hesitant to share them here.)

        How does homeopathy work? | Self-appointed DKE Hudson River Crossings Caucus Chair (NJ-10, college; NJ-05, home & voting (2.5 blocks from NJ-09)) | #ows since August

        by gabjoh on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 05:27:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How will Sarkozy appeal to the Xenophobe vote? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And how long will the Euro last after he loses?

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        —Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:41:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Compared to 2002 it seems National Front grew (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In 2002 the elder LePen slipped into the Presidential run-off and got destroyed by Chiraq 82-18%.  If you look at the run-off polls for 2012 Sarkozy was only leading LePen 63-37%.  That's still a landslide, but it does seem to indicate the far-right in France isn't as fringe as it was a decade ago.

    •  Alsace and Lorraine have changed hands many times (0+ / 0-)

      When I was in Strasbourg, I noticed that the people had a identity unto themselves and a skeptical view of the French (and especially of the Germans).

      And then, of course, there were people from all over Europe (and by that I mean multi-lingual folks who'd lived in multiple places in Europe).  

      Cool city, and a lot different than Paris.  Very much worth visiting, BTW.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:40:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alsace is down to Protestants (0+ / 0-)

      In that bit of the country, they tend to strongly favour Le Pen.

      In the south-central region, they're overwhelmingly PS voters. Lozeres is apparently a good example of this.

      Everywhere else, of course, they were wiped off the map during the 17th and 18th centuries.

  •  Paris (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Inoljt

    went narrowly for Hollande over Sarkozy.  Looks like a stark geographic divide, with eastern Paris for Hollande and western Paris for Sarkozy.  Since I know nothing about this, anyone know why that is?  (Google results.)

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:13:30 PM PDT

    •  The Western Arrondissements are very rich (6+ / 0-)

      and the Eastern ones are much more blue collar.

      Indeed, the 16th arrondissement is France's 4th richest district for average household income, only fourth to the 8th, 7th and 6th arrondissements; with Neuilly-sur-Seine, they are collectively referred to as Paris Ouest: the most affluent and prestigious residential area in France.


      The 20th arrondissement of Paris lies to the east of the centre and represents an old working-class area now in rapid transformation. The main drawing card here for tourists is the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, though, for travellers who are interested in music and culture, this relatively gritty area is probably going to be one of your main night-crawling areas.

      26, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 10:20:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is almost like London (5+ / 0-)

      The central and western areas are strongly Tory (Chelsea, Kensington, Belgravia) and some of the most affluent in the country.  However, the east is much more diverse and blue-collar (which means Labour has had some issues with the BNP in eastern sections of London).

      All Wisconsin, All the Time, Social Democrat, currently NY-23 (College: Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations), WI-05 (Home)

      by glame on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:47:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting. (5+ / 0-)

    Farm boy who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -7.88, -4.26, 6/5/2012- the day the great error of Wisconsin history will be corrected!

    by WisJohn on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:29:58 PM PDT

    •  Fascinating, I never heard about that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama

      For a while I kept tabs on that lunatic cult in the USA, but haven't recently. Very interesting link to wiki and there's a giant pile of info on his worldwide activities...

      •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, doinaheckuvanutjob

        there's one running in my (new, red) congressional district in the primary. Kinda concerned because she's the only woman in the field, and the other two have anemic fundraising. But apparently she's sending out stuff with "impeach Obama" and stuff with him with the Hitler moustache, so I'm not that worried.

        How does homeopathy work? | Self-appointed DKE Hudson River Crossings Caucus Chair (NJ-10, college; NJ-05, home & voting (2.5 blocks from NJ-09)) | #ows since August

        by gabjoh on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 05:49:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What is the French equivalent of voter suppression (0+ / 0-)

    ?? And is Sarkozy trying to do it?

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:36:49 AM PDT

  •  2-party runoff polls: Hollande 54%, Sarkozy 46% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is as of 4/22.  The polls are pretty consistent with Hollande leading the run-off by roughly 54-46%.

    Isn't the President more or less ceremonial?  I was thinking the Parliament elections this year were where the power lies.

    •  On the contrary (0+ / 0-)

      The French President is actually one of the most powerful offices in Europe. Not only because France is a powerful country in the EU but because the President is afforded many powers that Obama could only dream of ( The Prime Minister in France is quasi-worthless however and usually just does the bidding of the President. Polity IV actually gives France a 9/10 democratic ranking compared to almost all other developed countries who get 10/10 because they cite the fact that the French Presidency is too powerful for them to categorize France as a democracy with solid checks and balances.

      20, originally OK-1 (Tulsa-The Art Deco Gem of the Prairies), currently OK-3.

      by gigantomachyusa on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 02:12:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think you can leave off Le Pen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She refused to endorse Sarkozy, but the bulk of her votes will go to Sarko and most of the rest will stay home. She's part of the right.

    In addition, Joly and most of the other minor candidates can be assigned to the left. The one with the double barrelled name is of the right. Bayrou is probably best excluded.

    I'm told by people who know French politics much better than I do that this election broke down a lot of the old splits (Catholic/anti-clerical especially) that used to define French politics.

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