Over the easter weekend we visited a bunch of our neighbours in rural France and the obvious topic for discussion was ‘les elections’. A very important fact to know about M. Fillon is that he has been in a big scandal because as a senator he employed his wife and 2 other relatives on ridiculously high salaries as consultants. His wife never did anything worth mentioning and her salary went right back in his pocket. The other two were still students and nowhere close to reaching a degree soon. So his credibility is shot − one does not do that. No stealing our tax money.
The other interesting thing is, our French friends do not talk openly on who they personally decided on − this is considered a private matter. So even they themselves do not know what the people in the village will vote. In the surveys they have still a large number of ‘undecided’ but they might very well just have chosen to not tell. Especially if they have decided to give their vote to M. Fillon, they keep quiet about it as to not expose themselves.
On the day of the election you can only put in your vote if you go to the town hall in person. You may be substituted by a very complicated process beforehand (both persons appearing at the local police station, signing papers and paying Euros for the service). But no voting by mail (except for the overseas departments), online, early voting or any other means. As the date is also smack in the middle of the spring school holidays, this is a bit annoying.
PS. there are actually 11 candidates to choose from in the 1st round, Those mentioned here are the ones with the best chances though.