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Once Again, From a Distance

Martinique and the French Presidential Election of 2007

William Miles

In May 2007, Martinique did not follow the rest of France in endorsing Nicolas Sarkozy in his bid to become president. Along with the other overseas French states Guadeloupe and Réunion (but not Guyane), Martinique supported rather the Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal. Martinique thereby distanced itself from the rest of the République—as it had done in 1995—by backing a left-wing presidential candidate rather than the ultimately victorious right-wing one. 2007 represents the converse of 1981, when Martinique voted for the rightist candidate but France as a whole elected a leftist (François Mitterrand). Over time, being at electoral odds with the nation as a whole has become less troubling for Martinicans: independence, which most islanders oppose, is no longer seen at stake in presidential outcomes. On the other hand, Martinicans have become progressively resigned to their peripheral status within French presidential politics.

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Sophie Meunier

challenging what is left of France’s international relevance and providing it with renewed opportunities to play a meaningful role. The election of young, unaffiliated, pro-globalization, unabashedly Europeanist Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency may be

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Hugh McDonnell

, an aspect of the national political life exacerbated by Mitterrand's famed monarchical demeanor and style, gave this question additional weight. 39 But by the same token, the French presidency exacts distinct deference. This remained true even in the