The FT characterizes this as a return to the classic Left-Right confrontation, which is hard to disagree with. But my sense is that things are more concentrated around the Center, with Le Pen's poor showing and a paltry 1.9% for the PCF candidate.
CNN.com's lead story is, perhaps predictably, a little weird. In particular, there is a strongly gendered dichotomy on offer here. First, this:
The choice is now between two starkly different visions for France -- the pro-American hardline ex-interior minister promising swift change or the first woman with an honest chance at becoming the country's leader, a candidate who is promising a gentler approach to reform.So, the man is "hard" (or some derivation thereof) and the woman is "gentle"? Hm. Then, this:
Royal, a lawmaker and feminist who says she makes political decisions based on what she would do for her childrenFeminism of a sort, I guess.
Anyway, should be an interesting two weeks. If I had to go out on a limb I'd guess Sarkozy takes it on May 6th, but I don't feel particularly confident about it.