Where do France’s election candidates stand?

Learn the French presidential candidates’ stances on everything from economy and migration to foreign policy and the EU.

French election - all candidates
The candidates for France's presidential election rom top left: Sarkozy, Hollande, Mélenchon, Le Pen, Bayrou, Cheminade, Joly, Arthaud, Dupont-Aignan, Poutou [AFP] The candidates for the first round of France’s presidential election from top left: Sarkozy, Hollande, Mélenchon, Le Pen, Bayrou, Cheminade, Joly, Arthaud, Dupont-Aignan, Poutou [AFP]

France held the first round of its presidential elections on April 22. The runoff will take place between Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande on May 6, since no candidate won an outright majority.

The grid below shows where France’s ten presidential candidates from the first round stand on a range of issues, including foreign policy, the economy and the future of the European Union.

You can see a short summary of their views. Hover over any cell in the grid for more detailed information:

 EconomyForeign PolicyTaxationImmigrationEUEducation
Nicolas Sarkozy
Union for Popular Movement
End the 35-hour work week; reduce cost of labour.First term far more interventionist than predecessors.Higher value-added tax but no income tax changes.Reduce immigration by nearly 50 per cent.Wants tighter controls on intra-EU movement; a “Buy European” act.Apprenticeships for students and multidisciplinary degrees.
François Hollande
Socialist Party
Tighter controls on banks; reduce public debt.Withdraw from Afghanistan; enlarge UN Security Council.75 per cent tax rate on high earners.Argues that his opponents are exaggerating the problem.Wants ECB to favor job creation instead of austerity.60,000 new teaching jobs within five years.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon
Left Front
“No austerity” and a retirement age of 60.Withdraw from Afghanistan and quit NATO.100 per cent taxes for earnings above $473,000.Looser laws; repeal recent immigration laws.Wants to renegotiate several major EU agreements.More teaching jobs; public education from age two.
Marine Le Pen
National Front
A “buy French” law and a public deficit at zero.Withdraw from Afghanistan.Fight tax havens; tax benefits for small businesses.Reduce the number of immigrants by 95 per cent.Withdraw from the eurozone.More teachers; more discipline in schools.
François Bayrou
Democratic Movement
Benefits for small businesses; a “made in France” label.Reform the UN Security Council; withdraw from Afghanistan.Increase income tax on high earners, and value-added tax.Moderate: Supports residency for some illegal migrants.Wants a more “democratic and transparent” EU.Smaller class sizes, more independence for schools.
Eva Joly
The Green Party
Employees would have more of a voice in their companies.Withdraw from Afghanistan, shut foreign military bases, recognise Palestine.Higher taxes on high earners; tax financial transactions.Residency for long-term undocumented migrants.New EU constitution based on a federal model.20,000 new teaching staff; merge primary, secondary schools.
Nathalie Arthaud
Workers’ Struggle
Increase minimum wage and social welfare benefits.Close all foreign military bases; recognise Palestine.Eliminate all tax exemptions for big business.Residency and right to vote for all foreign workers.Wants the EU to become a “socialist federation.”More teachers, smaller class sizes.
Jacques Cheminade
Solidarity and Progress
Separate savings and credit banks; higher minimum wage.Immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan; quit NATO.Progressive: Lower taxes on the poor, raise them for the rich.Promote integration with language courses and other lessons.Drop single currency; end ECB’s control over monetary policy.Recruit more teachers; public childcare from age two.
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan
Arise the Republic
Nationalise the energy industry; salary cap in state firms.Withdraw from NATO, develop French schools abroad.Increase the tax rate on capital; slash exemptions.Reduce the number of migrants by 50 per cent.Believes all EU treaties signed since 2005 illegitimate.More time spent teaching French; recruit 30,000 new teachers.
Philippe Poutou
New Anticapitalist Party
Raise minimum wage to $1,700/month; ban layoffs.Withdraw from Afghanistan, quit NATO, shrink arms industry.End tax exemptions; 100 per cent tax rate on earnings above $340,000.Abolish “anti-immigration” laws and grant residency to migrants.Wants a socialist EU.All education would be free and public; secular schools.
Source: Al Jazeera