Left in The Lurch

A rightist landslide buries France's ruling Socialists

"IN SPITE OF OUR MISTAKES, AND THERE WERE some, I truly don't think we deserved this," said former Prime Minister Michel Rocard as the returns poured in during the first round of France's parliamentary elections. Voters thought otherwise. Rocked by scandals and blamed for France's 10.5% unemployment rate, the ruling Socialists plunged from 34.7% of the vote in 1988 to 17.6%. The conservative alliance between former Prime Minister Jacques Chirac's Rally for the Republic (R.P.R.) and ex-President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's Union for French Democracy took 39.5%, which France's voting system was expected to translate into a huge majority of about 460...

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