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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews research done on French elections, focusing on presidential contests. Initially, the scientific literature on voting behavior, coming out of the Michigan Model, is looked at. Then, we bear down specifically on the French case, comparing the perspectives of French scholars, such as exploration of “heavy variables,” to the perspectives of non-French scholars, for example the search for general models. Attention is given also to the search for a Michigan Model à la française. The final part of the chapter considers the convergence between the two traditions of studying French elections, from different sides of the Atlantic. In conclusion, we see a “meeting in the middle,” with each tradition contributing to the understanding of electoral choice in France, via consideration of long-term forces such as patrimony, and short-term forces such as leader image. Lastly, we offer specific recommendations for further enhancement of French election surveys.

Keywords: French elections, presidential elections, voting behavior, patrimony, Michigan Model

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