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Forecasting the 2012 French Presidential Election

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2012

Martial Foucault
University of Montreal
Richard Nadeau
University of Montreal


Who will win the next French presidential election? Forecasting electoral results from political-economy models is a recent tradition in France. In this article, we pursue this effort by estimating a vote function based on both local and national data for the elections held between 1981 and 2007. This approach allows us to circumvent the small N problem and to produce more robust and reliable results. Based on a model including economic (unemployment) and political (approval and previous results) variables, we predict the defeat, although by a relatively small margin, of the right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the second round of the French presidential election to be held in May 2012.

Special to PS
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2012

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