Green TV star joins race to unseat Sarkozy in 2012
Thursday 14 April 2011
A popular television environmentalist, Nicolas Hulot, has joined the rush of candidates for next year's presidential election – further complicating Nicolas Sarkozy's route to winning a second term.
However, an undaunted Mr Sarkozy joined in the election fever and gave his clearest indication to date that he will run next April.
Despite disastrous opinion polls and a possible splintering of the centre-right vote, Mr Sarkozy told his parliamentary supporters yesterday he had a "good feeling" about 2012.
Mr Hulot is a boyish, shaggy-haired 55-year-old who took over Jacques Cousteau's mantle as TV's adventurer-in-chief in the late 1980s. He has converted himself into an environmental campaigner in recent years and is a hugely popular public figure.
He said yesterday he was seeking office for the first time "to open the door to the future... and change the economic model which is poisoning our societies".
The presenter could attract votes in the multi-candidate first round of the presidential election from across the political spectrum. His chances of reaching the two-candidate second round are slender, but a strong run by Mr Hulot could splinter the "mainstream" vote and push either Mr Sarkozy or the Socialist candidate, as yet unknown, out of the run-off in early May 2012.
Although he has attracted some criticism from the Green wing for his former prolific use on TV of helicopters and jets, Mr Hulot is now at pains to present himself as a radical economic alternative.
Recent opinion polls have suggested the new far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, is running neck-and-neck with Mr Sarkozy and all the leading candidates of the centre-left. Some polls suggest she could reach the second round – as her father did in 2002.
Mr Sarkozy's chances were further damaged last week when his former centrist environment minister, Jean-Louis Borloo, said he too might run for president.
The ex-prime minister and fierce opponent of Mr Sarkozy, Dominique de Villepin, will make a statement on his intentions today.
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof cause of death: Socialite had taken fatal dose of heroin after years of addiction, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...