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As goes the French economy, so goes the reelection chances of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Although Sarkozy leads in round one, polls show that lead is shrinking at a pace that suggests he will not carry round one.
More importantly, Sarkozy is trailing again by double digits in polls for the decisive round two.
For those not familiar with elections in France, round one pits candidates from all the parties against each other on April 22. If no one gets 50%, the top two finishers square off in round two, on May 6.
Sarkozy struggles in polls as French economy sputters
On April 10, Reuters reported Sarkozy struggles in polls as French economy sputtersPresident Nicolas Sarkozy’s drive to persuade voters he is the best man to lead France to economic recovery suffered a blow on Tuesday, with a survey indicating growth has ground to a halt as he struggles to make headway over his Socialist election rival.
Two weeks before the presidential elections begin, the conservative’s lead over Francois Hollande is becalmed or shrinking for the first round on April 22 and he is still trailing in the runoff next month, three opinion polls showed on Tuesday.
With unemployment claims at over a 12-year high, people’s purchasing power dwindling and France stripped of its prized AAA status with one credit rating agency, the Bank of France offered Sarkozy’s economic record little respite.
Comeback Hopes Crumble
In an update on April 13, Reuters reported Sarkozy’s comeback hopes crumble, polls show
Four polls published in less than 24 hours showed Hollande extending his lead, with the conservative incumbent’s modest gains of the past month starting to evaporate ahead of a two-round contest taking place on April 22 and May 6.
A CSA poll showed Hollande winning the May 6 run-off with 57 per cent of the vote. Three other polls also indicated that his chances of becoming France’s first left-wing president since Francois Mitterrand were improving.
CHANGE OF DIRECTION IN EUROPE
Hollande has raised eyebrows in Berlin and other capitals by criticising a European Union accord on debt and deficit control – the fiscal compact agreed in an effort to counter the euro zone debt crisis – and by saying he would open talks if elected to amend it with a pro-growth commitment.
Hollande Promises to Rework Merkozy Treaty
Francois Hollande has campaigned on a platform of making needed changes to the fragile treaty hammered out by Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Good luck with that.
Meanwhile Merkel has tremendous problems of her own. When, not if, Germany’s export machine collapses, it will likely sink Merkel’s chances right with it.
Setup Good for Gold?
A Hollande victory will add pressures on the euro vs. the US dollar and also elevate fears of a eurozone breakup. A breakup is likely regardless who wins, in my estimation, however, a Hollande victory could easily escalate the timetable.
If that sentiment catches hold, don’t be surprised to see gold rise while the dollar strengthens.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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