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France profonde

Will Ségolène Royal be the Socialist presidential candidate next year? Not if the rest of her misogynistic party have anything to do with it

By Tim King   March 2006

“Socialists?” the carpenter thumps the coffin he’s making. “Mitterrand stood for something, but his lackeys! Going on the television to tell us to vote for Europe?” Most of my neighbours vote right, or extreme right. When the Socialist party bigwigs ventured into France profonde a year ago to show grassroots solidarity against the closure of rural services, the grassroots received them with catcalls and snowballs.

But even my carpenter is intrigued by Ségolène Royal: “The wife quite likes her.” Although Mme Royal seems haughty and mondaine, she has built her political career on family matters, and is now rocketing ahead…

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