Éléphant Blogging: the Laurent-Fabius-Watch

The Stoa’s PS correspondent writes…

Le Marathon Qui Se Transforme en Sprint

(That’s how the French TV news this morning put it). Well the campaign has enters its final days and your correspondent, on a brief visit to Paris, is filing this report from an internet café in the building in Belleville where Edith Piaf was born… There is little sign of Fabius-mania on the streets, just a few posters for a ‘grand meeting’ with rival candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn. But recent opinion polls suggest dramatic improvements in Fabius’ rating, up from 6 or 7 per cent to an astonishing 9 or 10 or even
11 per cent! That’s less than 50 points behind Ségolène Royal, suggesting the crowds of ecstatic fabiusiens seen shouting “Lau-rent Pres-i-dent” on the TV news last night – and Fabius’ own prediction that he will come second in Thursday’s first round and go on to win the second round – may not be as far from reality as cynical readers may suspect. Indeed, since none of the polls have been taken among Socialist Party members, the only people who can vote in this election, there is good reason to think they underestimate his support. While Royal and DSK have suggested policies to appeal to right-wing voters, Fabius has namechecked many Dead Socialists in calling for a return to the fundamentals of the “party of Jaurès”. Given the disproportionate number of schoolteachers among the party’s members, he has also taken advantage of a video circulating on the internet in which Royal suggests that teachers are not working hard enough as they have time to give private tuition. “It’s false, false, absolutely false!”.

Commuters picking up their copies of Métro at the RER station this morning were greeted by an exclusive interview with Fabius – illustrated by six photos taken in quck succession of him making a series of hand gestures – in which he declares his main message to activists is “Be free! Don’t ask who other people are voting for but what you want youself for your country and the Left”.

On that note, we await the results on Friday…

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