The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






French presidential election, 2002

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Second Round

President: Jacques Chirac, Rally for the Republic (RPR)
Opponent: Jean-Marie Le Pen, Front National
Vote: Jacques Chirac (Winner): 25,540,873 (82.21%) Jean-Marie Le Pen (Opponent): 5,525,906 (17.79%)

First Round

Candidate Party Vote Percent
Jacques Chirac Rally for the Republic (RPR) 5,666,440 19.88%
Jean-Marie Le Pen Front National 4,805,307 16.86%
Lionel Jospin Socialist Party (PS) 4,610,749 16.18%
François Bayrou Union for French Democracy (UDF) 1,949,436 6.84%
Arlette Laguiller Lutte Ouvrière (Worker's struggle) 1,630,244 5.72%
Jean-Pierre Chevènement Mouvement des Citoyens (Citizens' movement) 1,518,901 5.33%
Noël Mamère Les Verts (The Greens) 1,495,901 5.25%
Olivier Besancenot Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (Communist Revolutionary League) 1,210,694 4.25%
Jean Saint-Josse Chasse, Pêche, Nature, Traditions (Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Traditions) 1,204,863 4.23%
Alain Madelin Démocratie Libérale (Liberal Democracy) 1,113,709 3.91%
Robert Hue French Communist Party (PCF) 960,757 3.37%
Bruno Mégret Mouvement National Républicain (National Republican Movement) 667,123 2.34%
Christiane Taubira Parti radical de gauche 660,576 2.32%
Corinne Lepage Citoyenneté Action Participation 535,911 1.88%
Christine Boutin close to UDF 339,142 1.19%
Daniel Gluckstein Parti des travailleurs 132,702 0.47%
  Total 28,502,455 100%

General Summary

This election came as a shock to many commentators, almost all of whom had expected the second ballot to be between Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin. Jospin's poor showing and the widespread splintering of the left-wing vote in the first round of the election meant that instead Jean-Marie Le Pen faced Chirac in the second ballot. The election brought the two-round voting system into question as well as raising many concerns about apathy and the way in which the left had become so divided.

In the months before the election, the campaign had increasingly focused on questions of law and order, with a particular attention towards crime committed by the youth, especially the youth of foreign origin. The Jospin government was criticized for its "softness" on crime.

There was a widespread stirring of national public opinion, and more than one million people in France took part in street rallies, in an expression of fierce opposition to Le Pen's ideas. Some held up protest signs stating "I'm ashamed to be French".

The choice between Chirac, who was at the time under investigation for actions carried out whilst he was mayor of Paris (see corruption scandals in the Paris region) and who was benefiting from Presidential immunity, and Le Pen, a nationalist often accused of racism and antisemitism, was one that many found tough. In the days before the second ballot, a memorable poster was put up of Chirac with the slogan "Vote for a Crook, not a Fascist". Chirac defeated Le Pen by a landslide.

See also: President of France, France, Politics of France

External links

Official French government links are in French.

Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13