With the first round of the French general election now less than a month away the electioneering campaign is gathering momentum.
With the first round of the French general election now less than a month away the electioneering campaign is gathering momentum. The latest public opinion poll, published on Monday (13 February) gives the Socialists, Communists and Left Wing Radicals a combined 52 per cent first-round vote, compared with 44 per cent for the Government parties -- the Gaullists and Republicans.
SYNOPSIS: The results of the first round in one district of Paris will be carefully analyzed by political observers. It is known locally as the Grandes Carrieres. Inside its borders are two of Paris's most famous quarters, the Pigalle and Montmartre. It contains a wide cross section of voting loyalties, from the affluent in Montmartre to council house tenants further north, centred around the Flea Market.
Monsieur Roger Chinaux is one of four candidates contesting this district. He is a Republican and is seeking re-election. According to observers his chances of being re-elected are strong, mainly because the other majority party, the Gaullists, are not contesting the seat. The Republicans and the Gaullists have together governed France since 1962.
But now this sixteen year supremacy is being threatened by the left wing parties. One of the members here is the Socialist Monsieur Claude Estier who is tipped to become a minister. He is as member of the Socialist Party Committee and is the right hand man of the party leader, Monsieur Francois Mitterrand.
The other left wing candidate is the communist Monsieur Jean Gager. He has been a local councillor since 1971 and is secretary of the Parisian Federation of the Communist Party. Although he is expected to get a good vote he may stand down in the second round in favour of the Socialist candidate Monsieur Estier.
The fourth candidate is a member of the Ecology Party, Monsieur Jacques Gautrat. Nationally they have two per cent support. Although he is not expected to win, the votes he does get could be important because they might control the outcome of the overall voting figures.