Top 10 biggest twists during a presidential election

The Fifth Republic was born in 1958 (and hop, already a gift answer for this quiz on the Fifth Republic), as much to tell you that in more than 60 years of existence, it has offered us some beautiful twists! Especially during election time…

1. General de Gaulle on waivers

1965, my mother was not born, but my grandfather still remembers it: second election of the Fifth Republic, first of this Republic by direct universal suffrage, and above all, a general on the ballot against François Mitterrand. An unexpected situation, since the outgoing president was the big favorite with 70% of the voting intentions, so that he had hardly campaigned for his re-election. Despite this event, which he saw as a humiliation, he won in the second round with more than 55% of the votes, only to resign 4 years later.

2. Coluche, and the unsuspected craze

On October 20, 1980, Coluche announced his candidacy for the presidential election in a press release. This is initially a joke and no one considers him a real opponent. And it must be said that his profession of faith announces the color: “ I call on the lazy, filthy, drug addicts, alcoholics, (…) all those who do not count for politicians to vote for me, to register in their town halls and to peddle the news. All together for their fuck in the ass with Coluche. The only candidate who has no reason to lie to you ! BUT SURPRISE: the polls credit him with more than 16% of voting intentions. From there, he suffered various pressures, including death threats. He eventually retired on March 16, 1981.

3. Father Le Pen advances to the second round against Chirac

April 21, 2002, to everyone’s surprise, it was Jean-Marie Le Pen who made it to the second round of the presidential election, thus eliminating Lionel Jospin. A (bad) surprise that no one saw coming: in the last week before the election, Chirac and Jospin were neck and neck in the polls, at around 20% of the voting intentions, while Le Pen plateaued around by 14%. Result, while no institute had recorded crossing curves between Jean-Marie and Lionel during the campaign: 20% Chirac, 16.86% Le Pen and 16.18% Jospin. The next day, the front pages of the newspapers reflected a real earthquake in the political world: “Le Pen, le choc” for LaCroix, “No” in capital letters on the side of Liberation, “Le seisme” for Le Figaro, or even “La bombe Le Pen” at France Soir. Second round: 82% of the votes for Chirac.

4. DSK and the Sofitel affair

2011, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is ready to leave Washington and the IMF to run for president in 2012. May 2011, everything goes crazy: the fall of the president of the International Monetary Fund, then favorite for the Elysium. On May 14, he was arrested and then imprisoned for the attempted rape of Nafissatou Diallo, a maid at the Manhattan Sofitel in New York, where he had spent the night. On May 19, he resigned while refuting, ” with the utmost firmness, all that is reproached. The media-judicial saga, full of twists and turns, spans 18 months. On December 10, 2012, a financial agreement between Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Nafissatou Diallo is fixed. In 2020, director Jalil Lespert gives the floor to the maid in the series “Room 2806” on Netflix. She returns in detail to the accusations she always lends against politics. In response, DSK announces the release of its own documentary in 2021… Yes, we are in 2022, and we have never seen the color of it!

5. Fillon, elected candidate of the right

No one had seen it coming: it was François Fillon who won the primary right handily on November 27, 2016. He then thwarted any prediction and sent Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy to the mat. While Sarko accuses the blow (we come back to point 7), François Fillon becomes the great favorite of the election. In December, a poll gives him the same winner with 55% of the voting intentions. Corn…

6. Fillon and the Penelopegate

If the twist had a face, it would surely have that of Fillon… After this first victory, PATATRA! The chained duck made revelations at the end of January: this dear François is suspected of having fictitiously employed his better half, Penelope, thus paying him astronomical sums… 831,440 balls in total, according to the newspaper. She would have been paid as her husband’s parliamentary attaché, his deputy, and as an advisor to La Revue des Deux Mondes. Problem: none of her supposed colleagues have ever seen her work. Oupsie. Grilled. It goes without saying that Fillon therefore quickly said goodbye to his dream of the presidency. In June 2020, the spouses were found “guilty of embezzlement of public funds”. In 2021, at the end of their Appeal trial, Pénélope receives a 2-year suspended prison sentence, a 100,000 euro fine and two years of ineligibility, 5 years in prison including 2 firm as well as 10 years of ineligibility and a €375,000 fine for her husband. Fillon, from darkness to darkness, a series in far too many episodes.

7. Sarkozy dismissed in the first round

A point which therefore echoes Fillon’s victory for the 2017 right-wing primary, but the surprise is not only based on the meteoric rise of the deputy. No, Sarkozy’s defeat is also a notable event that makes him the very first president of the Fifth Republic to be excluded from the race for the Élysée in the first round of a primary. HARD BLOW. It takes the same, and Sarko does not start at all (it doesn’t start again).

8. Macron’s surprise candidacy (then victory)…

August 30, 2016, he resigns from his post as Minister of the Economy. November 16, he announces his entry into the race for the Élysée. A real blow, limiting a stab in the back, for Hollande: the Socialist Party had tailor-made a primary for the President still in office, but the arrival in the competition of Macron, without going through this primary, destabilizes completely his project for a second term.

A look back at the whirlwind journey of the new President of the Republic, through excerpts from programs and newspapers from France Culture.

Posted by France Culture on Sunday, May 7, 2017

9. … and the abandonment of Holland

Macron En Marche, Hollande En Marche Reverse two weeks later (not phew, I admit). On December 1, 2016, the first day of the opening of candidacies for the primary of the left, Hollande abandoned the election. However, his ten-minute assessment speech, in his first part of the speech, suggested the announcement of a candidacy. The surprise is total, both for us and for those around him! He is the first president to give up seeking his own succession after a single term. Our hearts are still bleeding. Despite the situation, he will call for a vote for Macron. A big heart in a medium sized body.

10. Macron running for a second term

This is by far THE surprise of these 2022 presidential elections. The current president has made the suspense last so long by announcing his candidacy just a month from the first round, that we really no longer expected to see him enter the race. . WAW BUT WHAT WAS NOT OUR SURPRISE, BUG. No it is wrong. It was like the least unexpected candidacy in history, in the middle of the least breathless elections in this Republic. We are therefore impatiently awaiting the twists and turns… But within reason, all the same. Clearly, we will accept a big surprise only if it propels Poutou to the second round. That’s all.

11. Bonus: the REAL twist by Teresa May

Yes, this is clearly irrelevant since she is neither a candidate for the presidency, let alone in France and in her country there is no president, BUT this is by far the only policy to have understood the primary meaning of “twist”. Kind of dance, what. Well, you got it! Stop thinking and enjoy this great moment (of embarrassment).

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