Sunday, May 29, 2005
In a result predicted by polls, a 54.87% majority of French voters voted non in Sunday’s European Constitution referendum. Of France’s 42 million eligible voters, over 70% turned out at the 55 thousand polling stations across the country, which were open from 8:00 to 20:00 on Sunday (except in Paris and Lyon where voting finished at 22:00, and French oversea possessions and other polling centers in the Americas, which voted on Saturday in order not to have them vote when the results are already known). A 70% turnout is very large compared to Spain 42%.
The result comes as no surprise to European political commentators as opinion polls had consistently suggested that the “No” camp was on course for a strong victory. Indeed, the last opinion poll before the actual referendum suggested a 56% win for the “No” camp.
The treaty was supported by all 3 major political parties (center-left PS, center-right UMP, center-right UDF), though a significant minority of the PS, and some in the UMP, chose to oppose it.It was opposed by the French Communist Party, as well as Trotskyite movements such as the Revolutionary Communist League, other far-left movements such as the Party of the Workers, parts of the Socialist party, parts of The Greens some members of UMP, and the nationalist National Front.
According to polls, the vast majority of blue collar workers, farmers and other categories threatened by globalization and international concurrence voted against the treaty. The urban, better educated or richer population voted in favor.
Some supporters of the “No” camp have argued that the mainstream media was biased in favor of the “yes” cause, and this was supported by some analyses of times awarded by television to both camps. However, the “no” camp also waged an aggressive campaign, with the walls of major cities being plastered with posters linking the EU Constitution and the European Union to all kind of social ills, such as high unemployment.
You can read the entire proposed European Constitution at Wikisource