With the first round of the French Elections only a week away (12 March), the Left still appears to be within reach of victory over President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's Centre-right coalition.
With the first round of the French Elections only a week away (12 March), the Left still appears to be within reach of victory over President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's Centre-right coalition. However, observers say the Left is wracked by internal disputes. On Sunday (5 March) an officially-imposed blackout fell on the Publication of election opinion polls. But in the last crop of polls at the weekend, the Left still led the field. On Saturday (4 March) Prime Minister Raymond Barre addressed a rally in Paris, and repeated earlier warnings about the danger of a left-wing victory.
SYNOPSIS: Monsieur Barre addressed the rally at the Paris Hippodrome in the Porte de Pantin neighbourhood of Paris. His audience were members of Autrement, the young people's movement which supports President Giscard d'Estaing. M Barre was given a riotous reception by the youthful crowd. He has been fighting what amounts to a one-man election campaign. His role, he says, is a constitutional one that rises above factional politics.
M. Barre appealed to the idealism of the young people of France.
He said that, despite lies and deceptions put out by some political parties, young people should keep France's interest dear to their hearts. The most rigorous call came from their hearts and, in the future, it would be youth who would give France and the world the generosity and warmth they needed.
M. barre warned that a victory for the Left would mean economic mismanagement of France. They would undo what the French people had achieved in the past 20 years.
M. Barre has refused to put himself at the head of the centre-fright coalition which sways it is fighting for democracy. Instead, he has maintained an independent stance. The elections are held in two round. Candidates must gain an absolute majority against all comers to win in the first poll. In the second round, the person who gets the most votes will be elected. M. barre has said, whatever happens on the first ballot, French peasant "shrewdness" would finally prevail.