Martine Aubry, leader of the Socialist Party in France, speaks to a crowd in 2009.
French voters are turning against the right-wing policies of President Nicolas Sarkozy in what many are calling the “pink tide,” a leftward shift in French politics that is putting Socialists and Greens in many legislative seats around the country.
The term pink tide was initially used to describe the increasing power of leftists in Latin America over the past decade, and is now being applied to France. —JCL
Nicolas Sarkozy faces an embarrassing setback at the polls over the next week as France votes in elections that look likely to hand a significant victory to the opposition Socialist party.
Although not officially on the ballot for the regional elections, whose first of two rounds will be held on Sunday, the embattled leader is expected to be punished indirectly as voters shun his rightwing UMP party in favour of leftwing and green alternatives.
With opinion polls showing the Socialists – who won control of 20 of the 22 mainland regions at the last vote in 2004 – will consolidate their “pink tide” or even increase it, commentators say the predicted defeat will reflect voters’ dissatisfaction with Sarkozy.