Hollande leads Socialist presidential challengers
Monday 29 August 2011
A kiss is never just a kiss. François Hollande, more than ever the favourite to be the Socialist challenger to Nicolas Sarkozy next spring, planted a very public smacker on the cheek of his nearest rival, Martine Aubry, at the party's summer school at La Rochelle this weekend. A kiss of death? Or a kiss of friendly rivalry? Or perhaps a kiss of triumph, in the knowledge that an opinion poll was about to give him a comfortable 10 per cent lead in the Socialist primary?
Ms Aubry, 61, the leader of the Parti Socialiste and the mayor of Lille, started the conference on Friday in aggressive mood. She said that the party had been a "laughing stock" when she took over from the previous first secretary in 2008. The previous first secretary was Mr Hollande. One of her campaign managers accused Mr Hollande, 57, of running a "grandad's" campaign for the nomination: in other words plodding, predictable and out-of-date. Mr Hollande and his supporters spent the three-day conference avoiding confrontation.
An IFOP poll published yesterday in the Journal du Dimanche suggested that Mr Hollande was now the choice of 41 per cent of "leftist sympathisers" to challenge Mr Sarkozy in the presidential election proper next April and May. Ms Aubry, who was neck-and-neck with Mr Hollande, has slumped to 31 per cent.
Four other primary candidates, including the 2007 defeated presidential contender Ségolène Royal, Mr Hollande's former partner, shared 25 per cent. Among Socialist party members, Mr Hollande is even more popular (47 per cent). The primary, which takes place over two rounds on 9 and 16 October, is, however, open to all voters who "share the values of the Left".
Can anything now prevent François Hollande being the Socialist nominee? All eyes are on the expected return to France this week of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who led the party primary polls before his arrest in New York in May on attempted rape charges, dropped last week. There is no chance of Mr Strauss-Kahn entering the primary campaign but some party leaders believe he could still influence its outcome. They are pressing him to back one side or another (in practice Ms Aubry) in the next few days.
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
Germanwings crash: The poignant final photograph taken by Iranian journalist on doomed flight after watching Barcelona play Real Madrid
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...