In The Independent:
A typical Sarkozy voter was a male shopkeeper in his sixties in a rural town in eastern or southern France. A typical Royal voter was a young woman student in a west or south-west city.
The sociological and regional division of France into the tribes of “Sarko” and “Ségo” is fascinating – and defies some of the conventional wisdom about the presidential campaign.
Mme Royal, the Socialist candidate, dismissed by the Right as the candidate of the past, scored heavily among the young and the middle-aged (with the exception of those aged 25 to 34). In an election restricted to French voters aged 18 to 59, Mme Royal would have won handsomely. M. Sarkozy owes his victory to a “wrinkly” landslide with an overwhelming triumph among French voters in their sixties (61 per cent of the vote) and a jackpot among the over-seventies (68 per cent).
The centre-right candidate promised to put France “back to work” and create a new, more dynamic future. His greatest appeal – paradoxically – was to people over retirement age. They were swayed not by his promises of a New France but his appeals to the “moral” values of an Old France, and especially his tough rhetoric on crime, immigration and national identity.
[H/t Alex Cooley]