Francois Hollande, the Socialist candidate who beat Sarkozy in the French election Sunday, could not have won without the support of the younger generation. An article in the Daily Beast notes that Hollande won largely because of who he wasn’t. It was the fact that he wasn’t Sarkozy, but a fresh face which voters could look to in order to move towards positive growth for France. Hollande was able to connect with millennials and make them feel obligated to vote and have a voice to change in France.
Some of the main reasons which millenials voted for Hollande are related, in large, part to how millennials in France view politics and current events in general.
1) Hollande is able to connect to young people. Most notably, Hollande released a campaign ad aimed at capturing the youth vote. Millennials are enthusiastic when it comes to looking forward, as they know their president is someone who will bring change to their country and a voice to people of their generation.
2) Hollande is not Sarkozy. This may the biggest reason as to why many voted for him and why he was preferred over Sarkozy. Some have said that Hollande’s campaign was fueled primarily by an anti-Sarkozy approach, which was mostly negative in nature, though helped in terms of promoting the idea of change. Millennials grabbed a hold of Hollande’s direct change is now campaign slogan, which was in stark contrast to Sarkozy’s glitzy lifestyle that did not take French voters into effect.
3) Hollande is likeable. There is no doubt that people want a change and millennials see that change in Hollande. Millennials, along with other French voters, view Hollande as fresh face against Sarkozy’s policies which only worsened the economic situation in France. Hollande made use of his simple appeal, which attracted many to the idea of change that he promoted.
4) Hollande is inclusive to all French. This is an issue which millennials feel as though Sarkozy did not entertain often enough. For example, on a recent campaign stop, Hollande stopped by a Paris suburb and shook hands with people from different backgrounds and ethnicities and made sure that he was proactive in giving all French citizens a voice. The result of his efforts to seek out those in other areas and regions of France can be seen in a popular campaign video he put out.
5) Hollande has ideas for change which could radically change how France deals with its allies and rivals. Hollande has noted in speeches that he plans to stick to the approach of previous French presidents, such as François Mitterand, in terms of administration policies. Millennials are happy to see change come and know that their voices will be heard, as Hollande’s ideas for change could make way for a whole new France.