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Letter from France

Scandals and infighting are stopping the Socialists cashing in on Sarkozy’s huge unpopularity

By Tim King   December 2010

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: can he challenge Sarkozy?

In theory, the times could not be more propitious for the Socialist party in France. President Nicolas Sarkozy has virtually dropped off the bottom of the scale in the opinion polls, and although he managed to push his pension reform through parliament, it has been at great cost. “He thinks he’s won,” cries the left, “but come 2012 we’ll show him.” Unfortunately, they don’t specify who will be doing the showing.

The Socialists are the only party big enough to challenge Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire). But its glory years…

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