Anti austerity socialists take a beating in French town hall elections…

My French isn’t great, but using translate this snippet in Le Monde strikes me as getting close to the predicament parties of centre right and centre left face in tackling an unpredictable future after the first round of France’s municipal elections:

Malheureusement, je ne vois aucune personne politique capable ni d’expliquer la situation aux Français ni de conduire le bateau entre les écueils, mais je suis convaincu qu’une telle personne ne viendra ni du FN ni d’aucun parti extrême.

Like the upcoming local elections these have no direct baring on the complexion or day to day working of parliament or the executive. But they are an indication of just how hard it is to stay in government these days and get re-elected:

Provisional results from Sunday’s voting showed the protectionist, anti-EU Front National party of Marine Le Pen set to take control of 11 towns across the country, easily surpassing a past record in the 1990s when it ruled in four towns.

At least 140 more towns swung from the left to mainstream opposition conservatives as voters punished Hollande for his failure to turn around the eurozone’s second-largest economy and above all to tackle an unemployment rate stuck at more than 10%.

For all that seemingly ill-placed confidence that the huge vote Hollande came in on was a decisive blow against austerity less than two years ago, his party has been caned less than two years later… Which brings to mind those unforgettable words of Jean-Claude Trichet:

“We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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