Socialist Hollande elected
François Hollande is elected with an estimated 51.9%.
I was wrong. The polls were right.
It's a democracy. Now we'll have to live with the result.
Ronny Gordon writes that France's Tricolor has turned a bit more red and brings us this rendering of President-elect Hollande:
Half an hour before polls closed, things were more hopeful:
I just received an email saying that the WSJ announces a victory of François Hollande, roughly 52% to Sarkozy's 48%. Maybe so. But that's not how it looks from here.
At 7:15 PM David Pujadas of France 2 said: if the result is too close to call, we will show the portraits of BOTH candidates at 8 PM.
Previously, SkyNews announced the almost certain victory of François Hollande, giving an undated IFOP poll of 52 to 48. Then went from the studio to their correspondent at Socialist Party headquarters rue Solferino in Paris. She said that the supporters outside were certain of victory but the party officials inside were somewhat concerned, and think the election will be decided on the razor's edge.
Reports from Tulle, the provincial headquarters of François Hollande, sound far less confident than in the past. For two weeks the media have been announcing a certain victory for Hollande. Now they are saying "if he wins... if he loses."
So, we will find out at 8 PM. Either it's the razor's edge, or the 52-48.
I was wrong about the outcome. I was right about the issues.
TV coverage tonight is a clear demonstration of the above. Political figures from all sides are in TV studios to analyze the results and address the issues but it is almost impossible to follow anyone's train of thought because the coverage is constantly shifting to the various public squares where those who are exhilarated by the victory of the Left are expressing their joy. There are of course some high profile celebrities at the Bastille but there and everywhere else the atmosphere is more like the 14 Juillet (Independence Day), the Festival of Music, or celebration of a world cup in soccer. The populations that Nicolas Sarkozy allegedly stigmatized and wanted to exclude are in the foreground. Every time an anchor tries to give a report he is submerged by shouting, screaming, screeching fans. Diversity is the watchword in the public square and with the political victors in the studios.
The victory went to Diversity. France said no to austerity and all of Europe will follow suit. France will be united. Justice will reign. World music on stage and United Colors of Benneton in the square.
The party will go one until dawn.
What will tomorrow bring?
The Place de la Bastille is filled to the gills. It reminds me of Place Tahrir... No, it's not really that bad, but it reminds me of looking at Place Tahrir (on TV of course) when Mubarak resigned, and I was thinking how can all those people be crammed together without some disaster befalling them? That's the situation now at the Bastille. No more people can fit in the Square. They will spill out or push in. We'll see.
Every time the camera pans over the crowd it bumps up against some flag from a Muslim country! And quickly pans away.
Flashing endlessly between the camera and the image of François Hollande, giving his victory speech at Place de la Bastille, was... an Algerian flag. Waving back and forth, insistently. It looked enormous. Much bigger than the newly elected president. Waving back & forth, obscuring and then revealing his image.
The presence of Algerian, Moroccan and other similar flags was mentioned earlier, in the studios at BFM TV, by a young member of the UMP team. One of the journalists who had been covering the campaign gave us the kind of indulgent answer we will be getting from now on. What exactly did she say? I can't even remember. I'm not sure she said anything but empty words that knitted back and forth, doing and undoing the fact.
As has been obvious by the atmosphere in the studio, at the Place de la Bastille where the victory celebration will take place, at Place de la Concorde where the stands that would have been used for a Sarkozy victory were not unloaded from the trucks....