Easy win for Macron in French election

French state TV vote estimate: Macron 65.1%, Le Pen 35.9%

That’s no surprise, opinion polls had suggested a result close to that.



The results of Sunday’s French presidential election run off  are expected from about 6 am New Zealand time.


Initial reporting suggests a high abstention in the French election.

Two weeks ago the French voting in London had to wait up to 3 hours to vote, however, reports this morning suggest that the queues were much shorter today.

Results are expected around 7pm BST (about 6am NZ time)


From live coverage from The Guardian:

If turnout projections of about 74% are correct, it would be the lowest in the second round of a French presidential election since 1969.

This is not unexpected in a contest as unique as that between the independent centrist Macron and far-right Le Pen, neither of whom have the formal backing of a mainstream political group, say analysts.

Yves-Marie Cann of pollsters Elabe told L’Express that the 1969 election, when the rate of abstention was a record 31.1%, was similarly exceptional, featuring two centre-right candidates: Georges Pompidou and Alain Poher.

How does France’s system of vote estimates work?



Revolt to change everything back to how it was

It is a week to go until the French presidential election (round 1) but many voters remain undecided, and the outcome is far from certain. A dominant sentiment is dissatisfaction with the status quo.

The French want “everything to change, so things can go back to being the same”.

Sound familiar? But it’s only political activists from the hard left and hard right in New Zealand who want an impossible revolution.

Stuff: With the French presidential elections, anything is possible

“Tous les scenarios sont possibles. Tous.”

These are weird political times, and France has caught the bug. More than a third of the French are still undecided on their vote for who will replace the Socialist French President Francois Hollande.

Many voters may simply stay at home. Political science is struggling to make any confident predictions about what this all means for the result.

“I’ve covered French presidential elections for 30 years and I’ve never seen one like this one,” says Philippe Marliere, professor of French politics at University College London.

“This campaign has been a roller-coaster of minor, major upsets, surprises, twists and turns. And it isn’t over yet.”

This is a country of people sick of the status quo, who feel the country has gone down a dark, depressing alley. They want everything to change, so things can go back to being the same.

They want a revolution. They want heads to roll. They’re angry, and they’re about to vote.

That sounds much like the US situation, and to an extent Brexit in the UK.

But I don’t think there is anything like a widespread heads must roll type of anger in New Zealand, yet at least.

There is anger here, but but not so much against the current Government.

Final few days of US election

The US election is into it’s final few days, and many will be relieved when it is fin ally over. The presidential campaign has been particularly dirty and nasty, and has been affected by outside intervention from the FBI and the drip feeding of emails by WikiLeaks in an extreme one sided political campaign by an outside organisation.

The closing up of the polls seems to have levelled with Clinton maintaining a small advantage. FiveThirtyEight:


But FiveThirtyEight and others say there is a lot of doubt about the polls, in part because this has been a very unusual campaign.

Key individual states are more important to the outcome. Nevada is usually an indicator of the overall result but this time this cannot be guaranteed.

Has Trump Already Lost Nevada?

The early vote and polls in Nevada continue to disagree. The polls suggest a tight race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Democrats, thanks in large part to high turnout on the last day of early voting on Friday, have built a large lead in early voting in the state.

Democrats are up 6 percentage points among early voters. That is, of everyone who has voted early so far in the Silver State, there are 6 points more registered Democrats than Republicans. That’s huge because mostvoters in Nevada vote early. In 2012, about 70 percent of all votes in the state were cast early. That’s why the party registration breakdown of early voters generally matches the registration of all people who eventually cast a ballot in the state. (It’s also what makes early voting a more reliable indicator of the final vote in Nevada, unlike in most other states.)

If Clinton and Trump win an equal share of their respective party’s voters, it will be difficult for Trump to win the state.

till, we should be careful. The early vote numbers don’t guarantee the polls are wrong. Being a registered Democrat doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to vote for Clinton. If Trump is winning more registered Democrats than Clinton is registered Republicans, the early vote data in Nevada may not mean what we think it means. Indeed, some Nevada polls (though not all) show Trump getting a higher percentage of self-identified Democrats than Clinton gets Republicans. It’s also possible that Republicans turnout in disproportionately strong numbers on Election Day, despite previous trends.

No one seems willing to predict the result, but many are talking about what has been obvious – this has been an awful campaign.

From RealClearPolitics: The Campaign We Didn’t Deserve

The 2016 contest is the ugliest presidential campaign in modern U.S. political history, and we can’t blame those hated “special interest groups.” This year, the rotten tone comes directly from the two nominees, Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump said, astonishingly, of Clinton during their last debate. Oddly, she’s determined to prove him right. But, remember, Trump’s own nastiness was never in question. What a pair. What a year.

 “Defining” your opponent is just another word for slander. “Contrast” ads are propaganda. Yet 2016 has taken these tactics to a whole other level.

“When they go low, we go high” is the stated mantra of the Clinton campaign.

The real strategy of Clinton, her campaign team, and her surrogates is: “When they go low, we go lower.”

Instead each campaign came to the same conclusion: Whoever is being talked about last may lose. They want the attention on the other candidate—negative attention, naturally—and although this might be sound strategy, the only “mandate” Hillary Clinton can legitimately claim if she wins is that she isn’t Donald Trump. And vice versa.

It has been a terrible campaign but perhaps the US did deserve it. ‘Reap what you sow’ comes to mind.

But sowing in the dirt is continuing to the end of the campaign.

Talking Points Memo: Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semitic Closing Ad

From a technical and thematic perspective it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whistles. The four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO).

The Trump narration immediately preceding Soros and Yellin proceeds as follows: “The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. For those who control the levers of power in Washington [start Soros] and for the global [start Yellen] special interests [stop Yellen]. They partner with these people [start Clinton] who don’t have your good in mind.”

For Blankfein: “It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the [start Blankein] pockets of a handful of large corporations [stop Blankfein] and political entities.”

These are standard anti-Semitic themes and storylines, using established anti-Semitic vocabulary lined up with high profile Jews as the only Americans other than Clinton who are apparently relevant to the story.

There’s been a lot of discussion of anti-Semitism and the Trump campaign but a fierce resistance to coming to grips with the fact that anti-Semitism is a key driving force of the Trump campaign, that the campaign itself is an anti-Semitic one even though the great majority of Trump’s supporters are not anti-Semites.

There is a lot of support for standing up against the big money in the US and the world, with which Clinton is seen as closely connected.

The latest WikiLeaks hit: Auditor Reveals Clinton Foundation Engaged in Illegal Activity

‘Make America great again’, that is white America which is anti-Jew, anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim – this has some quite sinister connections with history.

But it has worked for Trump, or at least nearly worked. Divide and conquer? We will find out later this week.

Nate Silver: Election Update: The Campaign Is Almost Over, And Here’s Where We Stand



Trumped by Democrats

Donald Trump for President? Perhaps in America it could happen but it looks more like he will disrupt the Republican chances.

Trump is the leading Republican contender in polls but also the most opposed. And he lags behind all the leading Democrats in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

Favourability ratings (all voters):

  • Donald Trump 27 – 59
  • Hillary Clinton 40 – 51
  • Jeb Bush 43 – 42
  • Scott Walker 36 – 27
  • Joe Biden 49 – 37
  • Bernie Sanders 32 – 25

Republican voters for:

  • Donald Trump 20%
  • Scott Walker 13%
  • Jeb Bush 10%

Republican voters “would definitely not support”:

  • Donald Trump 30%
  • Chris Cristie 15%
  • Jeb Bush 14%

Jeb, the third Bush to try for the presidency, looks to be battling too.

Hillary Clinton also tops both the for and against but on quite different levels to Trump:

Democrat voters for:

  • Hillary Clinton 55%
  • Bernie Sanders 17%
  • Joe Biden 13%

Democrat voters “would definitely not support”:

  • Hillary Clinton 9%
  • Martin O’Malley 8%
  • Lincoln Chafee 8%

Match-ups (all voters) are interesting:

  • Clinton versus Trump 48% – 36%
  • Clinton versus Bush 41% – 42%
  • Clinton versus Walker 44% – 43%

I’m surprised Joe Biden is a serious contender but:

  • Biden versus Trump 49% – 37%
  • Biden versus Bush 43% – 42%
  • Biden versus Walker 43% – 43%

It’s only fifteen months and about 15 billion polls and dollars until the US election.