Regarding John’s post on “red state/blue state France” immediately below, Michael Barone writes:
I was just looking at your red-and-blue map of the French vote. The oui areas–Brittany, Alsace, the central city of Paris and the department including Neuilly just to the west–have this in common: they are the areas most supportive of the party of the right. It seems that Chirac’s party’s people voted his way more than others. Lyon, I believe, tends to vote party of the right as well. I’m not sure about the department directly east of Geneva; I think it includes Evian les Bains, site of several infamous international conferences and the place where Stanley Baldwin (who liked to paint himself as an ordinary man of the British people) vacationed several weeks a year.
But, like us, you probably knew all that already, didn’t you?
JOHN adds: If that is correct, then my suggestion that blue-state France parallels blue-state America was almost exactly wrong.
UPDATE: A number of readers have also tried to explain why Brittany is blue (at least one pointed out that the blue area doesn’t quite correspond to Brittany). The most common explanation is that Brittany has a historic sense of independence and, like many more or less separatist regions of Europe, tends to support the EU on the theory that it would grant more regional autonomy.