Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

French presidential election, 2002

Second Round

President: Jacques Chirac (Rassemblement pour la République)
Opponent: Jean-Marie Le Pen (Front National)
Vote: Winner: 25,540,873 (82.21%) Opponent: 5,525,906 (17.79%)

First Round

Candidate Party Vote Percent
Jacques Chirac Rassemblement pour la République 5,666,440 19.88%
Jean-Marie Le Pen Front National 4,805,307 16.86%
Lionel Jospin Parti Socialiste 4,610,749 16.18%
François Bayrou Union pour la Démocratie Française 1,949,436 6.84%
Arlette Laguiller Lutte Ouvrière 1,630,244 5.72%
Jean-Pierre Chevènement Mouvement des Citoyens 1,518,901 5.33%
Noël Mamère Les Verts 1,495,901 5,25%
Olivier Besancenot Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire 1,210,694 4,25%
Jean Saint-Josse Chasse, Pêche, Nature, Traditions 1,204,863 4.23%
Alain Madelin Démocratie Libérale 1,113,709 3.91%
Robert Hue Parti Communiste Français 960,757 3.37%
Bruno Mégret Mouvement national républicain 667,123 2.34%
Christiane Taubira Parti radical de gauche 660,576 2.32%
Corinne Lepage Citoyenneté Action Participation 535,911 1.88%
Christine Boutin close to UDF 339,142 1.19%
Daniel Gluckstein Parti des travailleurs 132,702 0.47%

This election came as a shock to many commentators, almost all of whom had expected the second ballot to be between Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin. Jospin's poor showing and the widespread splintering of the left-wing vote in the first round of the election meant that instead Jean-Marie Le Pen faced Chirac in the second ballot. The election brought the two ballott system into question as well as raising many concerns about apathy and the way in which the left had become so divided.

The choice between Chirac, who was at the time under investigation for actions carried out whilst he was Mayor of Paris and who was benefiting from Presidential immunity, and Le Pen, an extreme nationalist, was one that many found tough. In the days before the second ballot, a memorable poster was put up of Chirac with the slogan "Vote for a Crook, not a Fascist". Chirac defeated Le Pen by a landslide, but it was clearly no enthusiastic endorsement of the incumbant but rather a fear of a victory for a fascist leader.

See also: President of France, France, Politics of France