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Closing In On France's May 29 E.U. Referendum.


After a few weeks of see-sawing in the polls on the subject of whether or not to approve the European Union Constitution, the "non" vote in France stands at 61% with less than two weeks remaining before the election.

Other polls also indicated a swing back toward the "no" position:

Less than two weeks before France's May 29 referendum on the treaty, the polls by the TNS-Sofres, Ipsos and CSA agencies for Le Monde, Le Figaro and Le Parisien newspapers showed support for the no camp, trailing since the end of April, had bounced back to between 51% and 53%.

Expect an aggressive campaign over the next two weeks to keep this issue close:

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin urged voters to approve the EU constitution, saying it would help protect France's economy against competition from the United States and China.

The prime minister, back on the campaign trail 10 days after emergency gallbladder surgery, said Europe was watching to see how France would vote in a May 29 referendum and warned there was no 'plan B' should voters reject the treaty.

Meanwhile, widespread public support for the "no" position in the Netherlands confirms the rampant continental Euroskepticism, the political trend of the moment:

FEARS over immigration and Turkey’s prospective membership of the European Union have combined with a growing Euroscepticism to propel the “no” camp into a convincing lead in the campaign for the Dutch referendum on the European constitution.

Successive polls have shown that the “no” vote is in the lead, but a survey of 16,000 people for Dutch television released yesterday suggested that the gap has widened sharply, with opponents of the constitution outnumbering supporters by almost three to one. It showed that the “no” vote rose from 53 per cent in April to 60 per cent, while the “yes” vote fell from 24 per cent to 21 per cent. The Netherlands was a founding member of the EU.


Rejection of the European Union Constitution by both the French and Dutch, within three days of one another, could deliver a severe setback for European political integration. European economic integration, on the other hand, is another story entirely.

Posted by Will Franklin · 17 May 2005 10:05 PM


Should that say "EARS" or "FEARS" on the quote about the Dutch? Because I don't know what the Dutch have against ears (well, except for Van Gogh).

Posted by: Ian Pittman at May 18, 2005 02:45 PM