FRANCE: Once More to the Polls

"It will not be pleasant to hold power in 1978"

Not since 1968, when millions of students and workers erupted in a violent protest that brought France to a virtual standstill, had the Fifth Republic wavered so precariously on a political pinpoint. Challenging the center-right government of President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing was the combined appeal of an alliance of Socialists and Communists. All the nation's polling organizations had predicted that the leftists would come out on top in the first of two Sunday rounds of parliamentary elections. Then, with the left having gained momentum from a first-round victory, the second...

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