Hollande seeks to woo far-right voters

April 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
PARIS, April 24 (UPI) -- French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande said he'll seek to woo voters who cast ballots for the far-right candidate in the first round.

Hollande, in an interview published Tuesday in the left-leaning Liberation daily, spoke of his strategy to win over those who voted for National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, France 24 reported.

"There is a part of Le Pen electorate that comes from the left … who are against privilege, against globalization, against a Europe that doesn't work. It's up to me to convince them that it is the left that will defend them," Hollande said.

Hollande spoke of National Front voters in a "suffering electorate, made up of low-paid workers, manual staff and workers who feel like they've been abandoned."

Hollande won by a slimmer margin than predicted Sunday, capturing 28.63 percent of votes to 27.18 percent for French President Nicolas Sarkozy and 17.9 percent for Le Pen, a record for her anti-immigration party.

France 24 said polls this week showed 45 percent-60 percent of those who voted for Le Pen would vote for Sarkozy in the runoff, while 18 percent-20 percent of those who voted for her would cast ballots for Hollande. Radio France Internationale reported Sarkozy would need about 80 percent of the FN vote to win re-election.

Sarkozy has called for three debates before the second round instead of the traditional one debate.

In a speech after results were released Sunday, Sarkozy tried to tap into the concerns of right-wing voters, Radio France Internationale reported.

"These anxieties, this suffering, I know them, I understand them," Sarkozy said. "They are about respecting our borders, the determined fight against job relocation, controlling immigration, putting value on work, on security."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
China questions Americanism in SATs
Dairy Queen hit by Backoff malware breach
Plague bomb data found on seized Islamic State laptop
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Elizabeth Warren defends Israeli airstrikes on schools and hospitals
Trending News