Avant le déluge: If you want to follow the French presidential elections…

by Stephen Tall on April 15, 2012

The UK is approximately 3687 miles from the United States of America, and separated by an ocean. The UK is approximately 22 miles away from France, and separated by a channel.

Yet there has already been more coverage expended on the race for the Republican nomination than there has been on the battle to become President of France. The White House trumps the Élysée Palace every time in the mind of the media even though France is closer and the result is more likely to impact directly on the UK.

However, there is good coverage available if you seek it out. So for those who, like me, are keen to understand better what’s going on in the Fifth Republic before France votes — on 22nd April (1st round), then on 5th May (run-off) — here are the five English language sites I’d recommend as a starting point. And please do suggest your alternatives in the comments thread…

    1. France24: the French equivalent of BBC World News, its stated mission is to “cover international current events from a French perspective and to convey French values throughout the world.”

    2. BBC News: doing what the Beeb does best, with in-depth features and analysis, plus profiles of all 10 candidates.

    3. The Economist: It created a storm with its recent feature arguing France is in denial, and urging all the candidates to level with the French people about what’s needed for the country’s economy.

    4. The Guardian: Offering an equally comprehensive mirror image of the Economist’s coverage with an unsurprising tilt towards the left.

    5. LSE Blog: I’m a big fan of the LSE’s politics blog, and their examination of the French presidential election will be both rigorous and impartial.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.