At one level, the 2002 electoral series can be interpreted as a return to presidentialism as the key organising principle of the Fifth Republic, albeit by a circuitous route. The legislative election is dependent upon the decisive presidential election. The 2002 series of elections demonstrate without any doubt the importance of election campaigns, especially in the highly personalised contest for the presidency. Chirac's political skill was demonstrated through his sensitivity to this changing political environment. Jacques Gerstle provides with a useful comparative overview of presidential election campaigns in the Fifth Republic. The underlying legitimacy of the system is shaped by the choices made by all key actors in favour of the presidential election as the decisive election in the Fifth Republic. The 2002 electoral series ended with a return to politics as normal, powerfully assisted by the second-ballot electoral system which, operated in a classic majoritarian manner.
|Title of host publication
|The French Presidential and Legislative Elections of 2002
|Number of pages
|Published - 2004