Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Splits of France on Europe

Le : Intentions de vote pour le r�f�rendum sur la Constitution

Tomorrow, France will say its Yes or No to the Constutional Treaty for the European Union.

But already today it's interesting to see how the campaign has evolved and how the split of France on the issue really looks. The opinion poll in Le Monde today gives some answers.

In political terms, the No side is most strongly supported by the extreme right of Le Pen and the extreme left of the Communist Party. That's hardly news. The extremes have always came together in their nationalist and nostalgic opposition to European integration.

But the opinion polls makes clear that the decisive support for No comes from the serious split in the Socialist Party, with this poll showing a clear majority of its supporters in the No camp. It's leadership has failed to secure the support of a majority of its followers, although the party itself in an internal vote in December come out solidly - well, 58 % - in support of the treaty.

Among the supporters of the parties of the centre-right, support for the Constitutional Treaty looks surprisingly solid.

The key conclusion is that in more concrete political terms it is the split in the Socialist Party that's threatening the position of France.