French voters have chosen the man that is going to lead the Republican party next year. It is an important time, as France is going to have presidential elections next year. The Republican party is a center-right party that has previously achieved political success with Nicolas Sarkozy at the helm. The winner of the conservative primary in France is François Fillon. The outcome of the election was contrary to the initial predictions of pollsters, who were not anticipating Fillon to win. With the nomination for their candidate already decided, the Republican party is preparing to face its political opponents in 2017.
François Fillon Wins 67 Percent of the Vote
At age 62, François Fillon is a veteran of government with extensive experience as the former prime minister of France. While in office, he advocated for economic sacrifice. Also, he proposed changes in the French workplace that would reduce some of the benefits and guarantees of workers and give more liberty and flexibility to the labor market. On the issue of immigration and Islam, Fillon is a hard-liner.
In the conservative primary that took place this Sunday, François Fillon received 67 percent of the vote. That is significantly more that his opponent Alain Juppé. Also a former prime minister of France, Juppé had a more centrist platform. He took a more moderate stand, particularly on issues such as immigration. Fillon’s victory shows that France is looking for a stronger approach to immigration, after having faced the refugee crisis.
François Fillon and Alain Juppé had remained alone in the race after former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had withdrawn from the race. In a speech, Sarkozy urged his supporters to give their vote to François Fillon. Nicolas Sarkozy worked very well with Fillon from 2007 to 2012. During that time Sarkozy was the president of France and Fillon was the prime minister. Having the political endorsement of Nicolas Sarkozy contributed considerably to Fillon’s political score.
Conservative Candidate Has a Good Chance in the Election
Presidential elections in France usually take place in two rounds. There are several candidates in the first round from the major political parties as well as independents. For the second round of elections, there remain only two candidates, those who have received the two highest scores in the first round. Taking into consideration the support that the Republican Party is enjoying in the polls, it is very likely that François Fillon is going to be one of the two finalists in the second round.
The presidential election in spring of 2017 has a good chance of changing the political scene in France. The government of François Hollande has been through difficult times. France has survived several terrorist attacks in recent times. Also, the refugee crisis has taken a toll, with a large number of migrants trying to find a place for themselves in France. It has been a difficult time for the Socialist government of France and the polls reflect that. At the time, it looks unlikely that the Socialist candidate will get a place in the second round next year.
Image source: here.