I'm at the Athens airport hotel awaiting my flight home and catching up with the French news. Meanwhile, reader Gregory Brown of UNLV kindly sent me a comment on the legislative elections, which I reproduce below. Thanks to Gregory, as well as to Dan, Mary, and Cindy, for keeping the blog going in my absence.
Here is Gregory's comment on the elections:
There's a really interesting article in today's Le Monde about how turnout made the difference in a lot of close races (those districts with >60% turnout went left while those with <57%went right by large margins). I'd suggest that this turnout
dynamic and some anecdotal evidence suggests there is a difference between
support Sarkozy personally enjoys among voters from the center to the far
right, versus the very tepid support on the center (and strong opposition
on the left) for economic policies
which, exemplified by the proposed TVA social, would clearly favor
employers and the wealthy over those who are concerned about salaries,
benefits and purchasing power.
People who were told they were voting for a government that would speak to
hard-working, long-suffering, underpaid employees did not like it when they
learned that they would
be getting in fact higher sales tax to make up for a cut in the employers'
Interestingly, there seems to have been the most marked drop off in turnout
for the first round in some of the banlieux, which suggests either a
tempering of opposition of minority voters
towards Sarkozy (the 'effet Dati') or, as I'd argue, a real support among
that electorate for Royal (who does seem to have contributed to a
remoblization fo that electorate for the second round
in place she campaigned such as Sarcelles.