Why the form-book says Ségolène

Why the form-book says Ségolène


    Has a woman ever failed when she has got so close?

Before the weekend the publishers of my book now called The Political Punter – How to make money by betting on politics”, emailed to suggest that I write an additional chapter with my calls on the 2007 French Presidential election, the 2008 White House race and the next UK General Election. No pressure there then!

For by the time of the French election at the end of April and in early May, the book will only have been out for a week or so and many will read it after the French result is known and where my “forecast” will be exposed for all to see.

After much deliberation I decided that I simply could not simply write “Sarkozy” on the basis that the current interior affairs minister has a clear margin in the polls – things can change in the final two and a half months.

    Then the thought struck me that the unique feature about Royal is her gender and much as I researched I could not find a case of a woman getting into the position that Royal is in today who has failed.

For when democracies are given the chance of voting for a woman leader for the first time they do so. There maybe exceptions but I have been unable to find one.

Just looking at the countries of the world that have had women leaders, the UK, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Iceland, Sri Lanka – to name but a few, the female contenders have won the first time their electorates have had the chance of voting for a woman.

So why should France be any different? There is another reason why Ségolène is worth a punt but that would be spoiling the book! In the betting you can get 11/8 on Ségolène doing it. Those look nice odds.

Mike Smithson

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