French Elections – Conservative Primary

Make of this what you will, but I see it as good tidings.

From the WSJ:

NationalFrontPARIS—Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign to reclaim the French presidency came to an abrupt end after a surge of support for his former prime minister, notching another upset in a year of electoral upheaval for the West’s political establishment.

Mr. Sarkozy, who centered his campaign on pledges for hard-line security measures and a clampdown on immigration, was hobbled in the conservative primary race by François Fillon, his once-close ally who ran on a pledge to deliver a shock to the French economy with deep spending cuts and labor overhauls…

Polls show the winner of the conservative primary next Sunday is well placed to win the first round of the general election and go head-to-head against Ms. Le Pen in a runoff in May.

With Mr. Sarkozy’s departure from the race, the French right loses a battle-tested campaigner who proposed challenging Ms. Le Pen on her own turf with anti-immigrant, hard-line security policies.

Mr. Sarkozy had sought to lure National Front voters by pushing a plan to suspend the right of immigrants to bring their families to France and to lock up people on intelligence watch lists who haven’t been charged with a crime.

Mr. Juppé, meanwhile, tacked in the other direction, proposing to form a broad coalition against the National Front. He espoused a “happy identity” for France that respects differences and overcomes social tensions.

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