Provence & Côte d'Azur:Riviera residents place their votes with Sarkozy and not Hollande
Côte d'Azur remains a UMP stronghold
Hollande may have won the title but he is far from favourite in the Côte d’Azur as voters award Sarkozy a huge 64 per cent. The landslide victory for defeated Sarkozy has sent a brazen message to the new Socialist president in Paris: the right-wing Riviera is not about to give in to left-wing policies any time soon.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the first French president to fail to win a second term in office for three decades, narrowly lost out to Socialist candidate François Hollande on Sunday night by less than three per cent.
The reaction of local politicians has been mixed but the general consensus was summed up by President of the General Council in the Alpes Maritimes Eric Ciotti, who admitted that the dismissal of Sarkozy was a “heavy loss for France”. Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi said that he was “proud to have been a part of Sarkozy’s campaign and regrets his sad, bitter defeat”.
Nice and Cannes stood by Sarkozy, voting for him with 60.35 per cent and 68.79 per cent respectively. Other high scoring areas for France’s ex-president ‘Bling Bling’ were Antibes (67.19 per cent), Beaulieu Sur Mer (73.24 per cent), Eze Sur Mer (75 per cent), and Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (79.96 per cent). The Var valley was also a Sarkozy hotspot with places as far apart as Bandol (69.69 per cent), Fréjus (67.25), and Saint Tropez (79.09 per cent) showing their presidential preference loud and clear.
Police estimated that there were around 1,000 people celebrating Hollande’s appointment in Place Massena and on the streets of Nice last night. Among them was local Socialist politician Patrick Allemand who insisted that a left wing victory was not purely a victory for the Socialist party – the first time it has risen to presidency since Hollande’s mentor François Mitterrand was in power – but also for “democracy and brotherhood”.
Due to officially claim his new role on the 15th May, it remains questionable whether Hollande will be able to battle this right-wing stronghold in the south of France with his Socialist policies.