The sharp turn to the right represented by the triumph of Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential elections will undoubtedly lead to a major policy shift and a change in that country’s society.
In defeating his main opponent, socialist Segelene Royal, with 53% of the vote in an 85% turn-out, Sarkozy will take over a divided country facing serious internal issues. Uniting the nation behind him will not be so easy when there are such fundamental differences of opinion and attitude raging within France.
But Sarkozy’s win could also provide a few clues as to the outcome of the next General Election in the UK and the presidential elections in the US.
Could we now see a significant change of direction in No.10 Downing Street and the White House after a lengthy period of dominance by one party?
David Cameron might not represent such a significant lurch to the right as Nicolas Sarkozy, but after a decade of Tony Blair’s New Labour revolution (sic) a win for the Conservatives would result in a far different approach.
Equally, with Hillary Clinton emerging as the favourite to mount a serious Democratic challenge for the White House she would undoubtedly head a very different administration to George W Bush.
As the Blair and Bush years come to an end, the voters in the UK and US might feel the time is right for a very different style of politics.
Although something of a Tony clone in many respects, David Cameron would still offer a big shift. A move back to a Clinton from a Bush would also represent a change in direction.
Of course, if France fails to come to terms with the new look offered by Nicolas Sarkozy, then UK and US voters might balk at electing for such a radical change.