France: Hollande-Sarkozy presidential duel launched

17 October 2011 – Presseurop Le Figaro
Le Figaro, 17 October 2011

"The left selects Hollande for 2012," says French daily Le Figaro. On October 16, François Hollande was designated, in the second round of a primary ballot organised by the Socialist Party (PS), as the party's candidate for next year's presidential election. Hollande scored a comfortable victory against PS First Secretary and mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry. He is now the main contender against incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, who is currently suffering from low ratings in opinion polls.

For the conservative Le Figaro, "François Hollande's woes are just beginning," because he will have to unite "all those left currents that expressed themselves during the primary. The 'hard left' of Martine Aubry; Arnaud Montebourg's anti-globalisation stance; the assertive left of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, without forgetting the anti-nuclear left led by Eva Joly; and last, but not least, the 'soft left', that is his version". But for Libération, the choice of the Socialists "is not very good news" for the right because, through his image of a 'responsible' left, François Hollande should be able to woo the centre with greater ease than Martine Aubry" would have.