#Primaire2016: François Fillon surges ahead of Juppé and Sarkozy to become lead candidate of the French right for 2017

| November 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

161121fillon2In the first round of voting in an American-style primary to become the nominee of the French right François Fillon surged ahead of the other main contenders Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy. Fillon received 42.8% of the vote, with Juppé and Sarkozy lagging by more than 15 percentage points at 26% and 24.4% respectively.

Former-President Sarkozy acknowledged defeat after the first round and has given endorsement to the front-runner Fillon who served under Sarkozy as Prime Minister from 2007 – 2012.

Programme

Fillon, who is married to a British citizen, is thought to be an anglophile and his success has been welcomed in the British press. He is also known for his pro-Russian views. His programme is economically liberal and socially conservative

Priority 1 – ‘Liberation of the economy’

Fillon is committed to 1,100 billion euros in savings over 5 years on public expenditure, coupled with 40 billion euro lower expenses for businesses and 10 billion of social and tax relief for households. He will also annul additional French regulations for agriculture that go over and above the EU’s requirements.

Some of Fillon’s proposals are redolent of those of the British Conservative government, for example, he wants to move towards a single social allowance, aiming at labour income ‘always higher than that of assistance’.

Priority 2 – ‘Restoring state authority, to protect the French’

Fillon’s programme proposes a massive investment of 12 billion euros more in security, defense and justice, and the creation of 16,000 prison places, so that the convictions are executed. He would also ban the return of French citizens fighting with terrotists, or guilty of the sharing of intelligence with the enemy from returning to France. Fillon is committed to reducing immigration and making the payment of benefits dependent on lawful residency for a two year period.

Priority 3 – ‘ Affirming our values’

Fillon is a supporter of ‘traditional family values’ and will limit adoption and access to fertility treatments (paid for by the state) to heterosexual couples.

On education he will reduce school-starting ages to 5 years instead of 6. At the higher end he will raise the ceiling on family allowances for those attending university to 3000 euros per semester.

Le Front National

Following Donald Trump’s victory in US elections there has been widespread concern that polls and pundits might be underestimating the ability of Marine Le Pen’s Front National to win next year’s general election in April 2017. Current President François Hollande is unpopular in the polls, with the only challenge to his ticket coming from a similarly unpopular Emmanuel Macron and his ‘En Marche!’ movement. Most estimate that a second round of voting would see the right-wind candidate facing Le Pen. According to polls both Fillon and Juppé could beat Le Pen, but Juppé would beat her by a wider margin.

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Category: A Frontpage, Economy, EU, EU, France, Front National, Politics

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