On the election of President Hollande, I refer you to the answer I gave some months ago…

by Stephen Tall on May 8, 2012

France’s Fifth Republic has a new president, Francois Hollande. I shed few tears for the man he replaces, Nikolas Sarkozy — while his economic policies were preferable his grubbing for National Front votes (and not just in the last fortnight) saw him descend to the same sectarian level as George Galloway from the opposite political extreme.

Combined, though, with the recent fall of the Netherlands government, and the Greek voters’ rejection of any form of workable mainstream coalition (or so it seems) — and indeed the poor turnouts in the UK’s and Italy’s local elections last week — and it’s clear voters across Europe want to deliver a kicking to their governments. Whether they are right-wing or left-wing is scarcely the point: they are in power.

Or as I wrote,back in November, when in a perfect mirror image of today’s narrative everyone was saying that Spain’s rejection of the Socialists showed the left was in retreat and the right was in the ascendant:

It is, therefore, simplistic to point to Spain as another nail in the coffin of the European left. It is at least as likely to be a reaction by the voters against incumbency. Now is not a time when being popular and being in government are an easy combination. Governments of left and right across Europe are having to implement austerity measures, whether voluntarily or because they’re compelled to by their own indebtedness; the severity varies, but it is an inevitable consequence of sluggish growth in the west.

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6 comments

New post by me: On the election of President Hollande, I refer you to the answer I gave some months ago… http://t.co/O5lQxlGX

by Stephen Tall on May 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm. Reply #

So true. About a year ago, when left parties lost elections left, right and center (erm..) the loss of the Labour party in the Netherlands was used as an example by various people. In fact, they hadn’t lost significantly, remained the second largest party (though behind a different first one) but had somehow ended up in opposition. Such things happen.

Now the right-wing Dutch government has fallen. Not because voters liked them less but because of internal disagreements in what had always been a weak coalition. Yet it is used to make a point again.

by Martijn Grooten on May 8, 2012 at 8:16 pm. Reply #

New from me tonight > On the election of President Hollande, I refer you to the answer I gave some months ago… http://t.co/O5lQxlGX

by Stephen Tall on May 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm. Reply #

[…] that with dire election results for both Coalition parties, and signs from across Europe that incumbent governments are being booted out by their electorate regardless of whether they’re from the left or right of the political spectrum, and cue Tory […]

by Is this the day the Coalition admitted reality and buried its claim to be a radical government? on May 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm. Reply #

New from me > On the election of President Hollande, I refer you to the answer I gave some months ago… http://t.co/O5lLZLG3

by Stephen Tall on September 4, 2012 at 6:54 am. Reply #

New from me > On the election of President Hollande, I refer you to the answer I gave some months ago… http://t.co/nbH00ZkH

by Stephen Tall on September 4, 2012 at 9:54 am. Reply #

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