So it seems that all one can do is brace oneself for five years of Sarkozy (and possibly a UMP-dominated parliament). The country is split down the middle on him (though there are some on either side that are horrified by his social policies while being attracted to his economic liberalism - however misplaced that might be). There will be tension in the suburbs tonight, as everyone knows, and it will be largely used to vindicate the Sarkozy vote in the more reactionary and racist reaches of French society. The sad thing is that it will take only a handful of hoodlums to start burning cars and things will begin to spiral down again, and chin-wagging editorialists throughout Europe will deplore this contempt for the dramatic wish of the people - thereby missing the point. Sarkozy was a disaster as Interior Minister, there is no reason to believe he will be any different as President.
As a parting shot here is Irish expat man-about-town Paddy Sherlock's amusing view of a France under Sarkozy (or Tsarkozy as he calls him - a splendid moniker that sums up the tinpot Napoleonic ambitions of the little man): the horrors of bad French music are likely to be all part of the package too:
Avec le Tsar - "Kozy"
Y'aura plus jamais Joey Starr - "Kozy"
Rest'ra que Jean-Michel Jarre - "Kozy"
Et Johnny et sa guitare "Kozy"
(With the Tsar/There'll be no more Joey Starr/Only Jean-Michel Jarre/And Johnny and his guitar)
Very funny stuff, circumstances notwithstanding
On éspère, pourtant.