Bye Bye Sarkozy; Hello Hollande

Well, if I’ve been complaining that I feel a certain lack of energy in France, a close presidential election serves at least as temporary cure.

Rue de la Roquette on Election Night

Tonight the French elected Socialist candidate Francois Hollande to the presidency, ousting incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

Crowds congregated in celebration across the country; I headed to Bastille where the mood was boisterous.

At one point I was nearly crushed against a wall as a pack of people surged against me. Well, I wanted excitement, didn’t I?

I ducked into a bistro for a brief reprieve

I won’t go into a political analysis here. I’ll only say it’s a privilege watching another country’s democracy in action. With a voter turnout of 80% (compare that to the US!), this is still an incredibly engaged populace.

52% is far from a commanding win for Hollande, but the shouts, cheers, and honking horns around me belied that fact. Jubilation reigned in the streets.

We’ll see what the next 5 years bring…Vive la France.

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14 Responses to “Bye Bye Sarkozy; Hello Hollande”


  1. 1 Edna May 7, 2012 at 12:28 am

    We really are lucky to be here right now, the French are so energized! I love watching other countries’ elections take place. So bummed I didn’t make it out into the Bastille area — the celebrations were nonexistent here in the 16th….

    • 2 paris (im)perfect May 7, 2012 at 12:31 am

      Oh, I can imagine all is quiet in the 16th! It’s such a trip. I can’t believe I’ve already experienced 3 elections since I’ve been here: Sarkozy’s, Obama’s (!), and now Hollande. Next US election coming right on up!

      • 3 Edna May 7, 2012 at 12:35 am

        Reckon the Bastille will be so lively then? :) Regardless I will DEFINITELY be out for that one.

      • 4 paris (im)perfect May 7, 2012 at 12:37 am

        I actually couldn’t get into an Obama party last time it was so packed! The final results didn’t roll in until 5 AM, though – it’s a very long night :)

      • 5 Edna May 7, 2012 at 12:39 am

        Oh right, I forgot about that! Last Obama election I was studying abroad in China and the time difference meant the results came in at lunchtime. Oh well it’ll be exciting! I’m really looking forward to it now that I know people get so into it here!

    • 6 Adam May 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Sarkozy scored 78% in the 16th – unlikely therefore that many people were celebrating!

  2. 9 Sarah Marian Seltzer May 7, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Wow! 80% turnout and jubilant crowds. Love it.

  3. 11 Jennifer Flueckiger May 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Wow! What an atmosphere. Thanks for giving us a snapshot. Sorry we missed it all. It will be so interesting to see what happens next.

  4. 13 Franck May 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    French never elected a president from the left side, they sack his opponent.


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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