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Forecasting the 2012 French Presidential Election

  • Martial Foucault (a1) and Richard Nadeau (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 14 March 2012

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.

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James E. Campbell 1992. “Forecasting the Presidential Vote in the States.” American Journal of Political Science 36: 386407.

Éric Dubois , and Christine Fauvelle-Aymar . 2004. “Vote Functions in France and the 2002 Election Forecast.” In The French Voter: Before and After the 2002 Elections, ed. M.S. Lewis-Beck . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bruno Jérôme , and Véronique Jérôme-Speziari . 2004. “Forecasting the 2002 Elections: Lessons from a Political Economy Model.” In The French Voter: Before and After the 2002 Elections, ed. M.S. Lewis-Beck . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Michael S. Lewis-Beck 2005. “Election Forecasting: Principles and Practice.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 7: 145–64.

Michael S. Lewis-Beck , Éric Bélanger , and Christine Fauvelle-Aymar . 2008. “Forecasting the 2007 French Presidential Election: Ségolène Royal and the Iowa Model.” French Politics 6: 106–15.

Richard Nadeau , Michael S. Lewis-Beck , and Éric Bélanger . 2010. “Electoral Forecasting in France: A Multi-Equation Solution.” International Journal of Forecasting 26: 1118.

Peter Nannestad , and Martin Paldam . 1994. “The VP-function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years.” Public Choice 79: 213–45.

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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