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 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...