In a repeat of what happened here with the gubernatorial primaries (where Dick Riordan was so focused on his run againt Gray Davis that he neglected right-winger Bill Simon, and Simon ended up winning the primary), Lionel Jospin lost the French primary to Jean-Marie Le Pen. So Le Pen will face Jacques Chirac in the second tour of the French elections. A major upset of course, especially for the socialists who were poised to be running against Chirac’s RPR. The Rassemblement Pour la Republique is fairly to the right. So it’s an extreme right-winger against a moderate right-winger. Oh, douce France!

Here is an article from Le Monde: Le seisme Le Pen, which is pretty representative of the coverage of this major election upset. Chirac, for his part, has been dogged by corruption scandals for the last few months, hence the title of this article from Liberation: Votez escroc, pas facho. Vote for a crook, not for a fascist!


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