Future looks uncertain
FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Balladur
Until the new president is elected in the second round of voting on 7 May, Mr Balladur remains Prime Minister. After that, he said yesterday, "I will retain my place in national political life. We must continue to defend our values," he told supporters. "That is my intention. You can count on me."
Mr Balladur believes that his first round score of 18.5 per cent will give him a political base once he leaves office next month. The question is whether he can then attract the kind of support needed to remain at the forefront of French politics.
The presidential campaign showed that the naturally reserved Prime Minister lacks the popular electoral touch. His early lead in the opinion polls withered once he went out on the road to talk to voters. By Sunday night, he had become human enough to snap at noisy supporters to be quiet when he conceded defeat and said he would vote in the second round for his Gaullist rival Jacques Chirac. In his speech yesterday, the Prime Minister was back to his usual above-the-fray style.
A former senior civil servant and finance minister, Mr Balladur thought he could glide effortlessly from the premiership to the presidency without the backing of a political party. Now he has been eliminated,those who flocked to him at his zenith are likely to desert him equally smartly. Mr Chirac has asserted his control of the Gaullist party machine while former President Valry Giscard d'Estaing has blocked any opening in the conservative centre.
This leaves Mr Balladur with an uncertain future. He will continue to make speeches advocating financial prudence, careful change and Eurodevelopment, but is likely to become less of a political force as the new president gets into his stride.
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 3 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 4 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 5 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
Greece debt crisis: Athens has one day to find €1.6bn
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...