Socialist Francois Mitterrand and conservative Valery Giscard D'Estaing finished comfortably first and second in the first round of the French Presidential elections on Sunday (5th May).
Socialist Francois Mitterrand and conservative Valery Giscard D'Estaing finished comfortably first and second in the first round of the French Presidential elections on Sunday (5th May). They'll meet in a runoff for the Presidency on the 19th of May.
An estimated 30 million people voted. With more than three-quarters of the votes counted M. Mitterrand took 10,883,000 votes or 43 per cent of the vote. M. Giscard D'Estaing polled a ??? OVER a third of the 25 million votes counted, and Jacques Chaban-Delmas - the Gaullist candidate - polled over 3 nd a half million of the votes counted.
With the Gaullist candidate eliminated from the race, the French Prime Minister, M. Pierre Messmer, immediately urged Chaban-Delmas' supporters to switch their support to M. Giscard D'Estaing, the Finance Minister, for the crucial round.
Everything points to a tight runoff between M. Mitterrand and M. Giscard D'Estaing. The pundits say M. Mitterrand could hope to pick up 3 per cent of the vote from the extreme Left-wing candidates, while M. Giscard D'Estaing could expect the bulk of Gaullist support. This would still leave both men two or three points short of the overall majority required for victory in the second round.
The defeat of M. Chaban-Delmas will usher in a new era in France, after 16 years of Gaullist rule. The elections followed the death on April 2nd of the former President, Georges Pompidou.