10 basic things about tonight
2. As you can read below, turn out is really high, which in theory normally benefits the left (more working-class people and immigrants are probably voting, and they tend to vote more to the left than the average).
3. For Royal, ending up in the second round is crucial; otherwise the Parti Socialiste might explode. She/the PS will be happy if she ends very to close to Sarkozy, who is expected to come in first. If she ends up first, her campaign will get an enormous boost. The number she is probably dreaming about beating is 25.8 percent. That is what Mitterrand got in 1981.
4. For Sarkozy, he must come in first. Anything else would be a major surprise since he has been leading in more or less all of the 100 latest polls. But then we have the high turnout… Sarkozy is probably hoping to get more than 27 percent, and he must beat what Chirac got in the first round in 1995: 20.8 percent.
5. Le Pen is off course dreaming about making it to the second round again; he will 84 years next time. His numbers are always difficult to predict, but he got 4 804 772 votes (16,9 percent) in 2002.
6. Bayrou is off course hoping that his previous momentum and talk about being both right, left and center will put him in the second round. His party, UDF, are confident that Bayrou will increase their share of the vote compared to 2002, when they got 6,8 percent.
7. Another fun thing to keep your eyes on is who will win among the “gauche de la gauche”. There are two Trotskyite candidates and one from the communist party. I think Olivier Besancenot (Trotskyite from LCR) will end up first of the three.
8. The second round is on Sunday, 6 May – unless someone will get 50,1 percent tonight…
9. And Chirac? His mandate expires on 16 May 2007 at midnight.
10. Don’t forget that this blog will probably be helpful tonight.
I don’t know when I will get online again, but more reports and photos will follow!