French Winners Woo Centrist

With 7 million supporters, Francois Bayrou is courted by left and right
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 24, 2007 5:45 PM CDT
French conservative presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he delivers a speech during a campaign rally in Rouen, northwestern France, Tuesday, April 24, 2007. The battle between Sarkozy and...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Defeated presidential candidate Francois Bayrou is now the most wanted man in France, as Sarko and Ségo compete to woo his seven million voters. Socialist Ségolène Royal has appealed directly to Bayrou to form an alliance, while right-wing Nicolas Sarkozy is rebranding himself as a centrist-friendly “candidate of openness.”

Sarkozy, the front runner, is already plotting behind the scenes to cut a deal with Bayrou's MPs that would allow him to form a parliamentary majority once he takes office. Still, he claims to be taking the high road, eschewing alliances. "I will not cut a deal at the expense of my convictions," Sarkozy said smugly.