French Referendum Poll Update

Just a quick follow up on the state of play with opinion poll outcomes in France. Le Monde today reports that of four polls published yesterday two gave a majority for the ‘yes’ vote, whilst the other two suggested a significant decline in ‘no’ support (details in fold). Since the shift is partly among socialist voters, is this a ‘Jospin effect’? (The former PS Prime Minister went public on prime tv late last week with his support for the ‘yes’ campaign)

Whilst I’m posting, this article in the FT about tensions between Barroso and Chirac makes interesting reading. In particular since it suggests that the fairly modest celebrations of the enlargement anniversary I noted yesterday may be linked to a deliberate policy of not rocking the boat at a sensitive time.

Curious detail: the FT reports “Mr Chirac believes Mr Barroso has an infuriating ability to sound like a liberal when addressing a business audience, while peddling a more French-friendly vision of a ‘social Europe’ to trade unionists.”

Wouldn’t this be yet another case of people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

NB following a point in the comments section, can anyone bring us up to date with some info about the evolution of and background to the vote in the Netherlands?

Extracts from Le Monde article with rough and ready summary translations to accompany:

“Le oui au r?f?rendum sur la Constitution europ?enne remonte fortement : sur quatre sondages publi?s lundi, deux le donnent majoritaire. Le oui arrive en t?te avec 53 % des intentions de vote, contre 47 % pour le non dans un sondage Ipsos r?alis? les 29 et 30 avril pour Le Figaro et Europe 1 aupr?s de 960 personnes. Une autre enqu?te, men?e les 30 avril et 2 mai par CSA pour France Info, France 3 et Le Parisien, donne le oui vainqueur avec 51 % des intentions de vote, contre 49 % pour le non.”

The yes vote is strongly on the rebound. Two out of four surveys published Monday show a majority ‘yes’. The yes vote is in front by 53 % to 47 % in an Ipsos poll carried out on the 29 and 30 of April for Le Figaro and Europe based on 960 interviews. Another survey conducted between 30 April and 2 May by CSA for France Info, France 3 and Le Parisien shows a 51% ‘yes’ majority against a 49% ‘no’.

Dans un sondage Louis Harris pour Yahoo!, Lib?ration et i-T?l?, le non perd 2 points en quinze jours mais reste en t?te (51 % contre 49 %). L? encore, on enregistre une pouss?e du oui chez les socialistes (de 46 % ? 52 %), alors que les intentions de vote sont stables aupr?s des ?lecteurs UDF-UMP (78 % en faveur du oui).

In a Louis Harris poll for Yahoo!, Lib?ration and i-T?l? carried out on the 29 and 30 April, the ‘no’ vote dropped 2 in two weeks but still has a majority (51 % against 49 %). The ‘yes’ vote among socialist voters rose from 46% to 52% whilst there was no significanty change in intentions among UDF-UMP voters (78% ‘yes’).

Le non domine ?galement avec 52 % des intentions de vote, contre 48 % pour le oui dans un sondage BVA r?alis? pour L’Express. Selon cette enqu?te r?alis?e du 27 au 30 avril aupr?s de 1 141 personnes, le non perd toutefois 6 points en deux semaines. Cette chute s’explique l? encore par le revirement d’une partie des ?lecteurs socialistes, seuls 47 % d’entre eux soutenant encore le non, contre 62 % ? la mi-avril.

The ‘no’ vote predominates also in a BVA poll for L’Express. Carried out between 27 and 30 April with 1,141 interviewed the ‘no’ vote dropped 6 points in two weeks. The principal reason: only 47% of socialist voters continued to support the ‘no’ vote as against 62% in mid-April.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

5 thoughts on “French Referendum Poll Update

  1. Here in the Netherlands very little has happened. A couple of weeks ago, an independent committee dispensed the grand total of one million euros to various campaigns. The largest amount (50,000) went to a Yes-campaign, drawing boos from no-campaigners as they reckon the powers that be favoured Yes-campaign in general, and those involving well-known politicians in specific.

    Those organisations that received subsidies are bound to very strict rules. They may not pay salaries or travel expenses etc to people working for them. Most of the many must be spent on ads and campaign materials: pledge cards, buttons, stickers.

    I think most Yes-campaigns officially kicked off last weekend, but the No-campaigns have been gathering steam for much longer. The Socialist Party’s (SP) campaign seems most appealing, others, such as by hairdo offender Geert Wilders, are shooting themselves in the foot, imho. Their arguments run along lines that I mostly hear in cafes. The arguments are bitter and inconsistent.

    Also there has been some fuss about stemwijzers, these online questionnaires that help you find out what to vote for, and for which my brain won’t surrender the English word. Depending on what camp made the questionnaire, the outcome was always more in favour or more opposed to the constitution. It was both due to formulation of the questions and down right biased programming.

    The biggest problem so far may be that it is hip to be against the constitution. It would help the Yes-campaign if someone came up with a ‘cool’ image in favour of…

    Finally, it is awfully hard to make up your mind by visiting different campaign sites. Especially, the government site and the SP site (via excell at confusing the undecided voter with their respective top tens. In areas of military spending, animal rights (wtf!) and the influence of Brussels they seem to draw exactly the opposite conclusions. There is no telling who is being less economic with the truth.

    See also (I hope aFoE’s multilinguist talents carry this far):

  2. “I hope aFoE’s multilinguist talents carry this far”

    Unfortunately mine certainly don’t. Following one of your links I eventually found myself at

    From there I found my way to De Telegraaf where I was able to work out that Ajax star Nigel De Jong may now be in the ‘orbit’ of Man United, and I was able to click a button which lead me to (and as a keen Bar?a fan anything associated with Johann is naturally of interest: bring on Van Bommel 🙂 ). What I couldn’t find was any systematic dossier on the EU referendum. Perhaps I was directed to the wrong paper: there must presumeably be a better one in this connection?

    What I think I am ironically trying to suggest is that while I am very sympathetic to the suggestion that attention over the constitution is being unduly focused on France, one of the reasons for this may be linguistic deficiencies, and to overcome this gap we need our Dutch readers top keep us informed

  3. There is indeed not as much media attention for the EU Constitution in the Netherlands as there as in France. The level of the debate is also correspondingly lower.
    De Telegraaf (a rather populist and popular, but pro-EU daily) has no dossier on the EU Constitution. However, the leftist Volkskrant does have one at, centrist-liberal NRC Handelsblad ( has one hidden behind its paywall, and public broadcaster NOS has one at

    A very good public site is

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