Chart of the day: Sarkozy's comeback

The French president is now leading François Hollande in the first round.

Will the French Socialists once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? For the first time since the election campaign began, a poll has put Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of François Hollande in the first round (see graph). With just over a month to go until the election begins, the French President is on 28.5 per cent, with his Socialist challenger trailing on 27 per cent.

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Sarkozy's decision to court the far-right vote with his demagogic attacks on halal meat and immigration appears to have paid dividends. Support for the National Front's Marine Le Pen has slumped to 16 per cent, her lowest poll rating since the start of the year.

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Hollande, it's important to note, still has a convicing lead in the second round (see graph) but this has been reduced by two points to nine per cent. After 6 May, the Élysée is still likely to be occupied by a Socialist for the first time since 1995. But it looks like the race will be a lot tighter than we thought.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The NS Podcast #230: It's (New) Party Time

The New Statesman podcast.

Helen is joined by Anoosh to consider whether a new political party would have any chance of success in the UK. Then they discuss the TV shows everyone really likes to watch but doesn't admit to and analyse why the quality of Don't Tell The Bride has declined. Finally, a bumper You Asked Us section including listener questions on social care, punching Nazis, the Tory economic agenda and more.

You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes here or with this RSS feed: http://rss.acast.com/newstatesman, or listen using the player below.

 

Further reading:

The NS centenary debate from 2013 - did the left win the twentieth century?

Meet the Ivanka Voter by Anne Helen Petersen on Buzzfeed.

Anoosh on the EDL.

Why is Love Island so Tory?

How Don't Tell the Bride lost its spark

Take Me Out and the failures of feminism by Alan White.