Next French President from the left

per Reuters:

Francois Hollande will try to unseat France’s conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy and return a Socialist to the Elysee Palace for the first time in 17 years in an election just over six months from now.

For months, the opinion polls suggest French voters are ready to put the left back in the Elysee Palace and oust the unpopular Sarkozy.

What remains to be seen now is whether or not Hollande reverses out of the more hardline stand he adopted in the closing stages of the Socialist primary as he sought to cater to people who had voted in large numbers in the opening round for anti-bank, anti-globalization contender Arnaud Montebourg.

Hollande, who promised in the final days of campaigning to crack down on banks and financial market excess, consolidated his position by securing the support of the four contenders knocked out in round one, including Montebourg.

The main tenet of the Socialist manifesto which will provide the backbone of Hollande’s campaign is that some 50 billion euros of tax breaks and other concessions made by Sarkozy can be scrapped, with half of the proceeds funding more proactive policies for jobs and growth and the other half going into public deficit reduction.

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