Conclusion
in The French party system

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book discerns more exactly what represents continuity and what represents change. It focuses on some basic summary statistics which are commonly used to look at the party system dynamics in order to locate the 2002 party system at the end of a trend starting in 1978, the quadrille bipolaire benchmark year. The book considers the implications of the figures for the parties, and what they reveal about the likely prospects for the French party system in coming years. The right bloc has returned to a two-party bloc, the Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle (UMP) and the two 'half-parties' of the Union pour la Démocratie Française (UDF) and the Front National (FN), plus assorted stragglers. The left bloc remains stable in terms of party numbers due to the surge in Green support.

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