The confusion seems to be enhancing the image of [Jean-Marie Le Pen]. While the regular conservative parties, the Rally for the Republic of former Premier Jacques Chirac and the Union for the French Democracy of former President Valery Giscard d'Estaing and another former premier, Raymond Barre, insist that they will have nothing to do with Le Pen, some party officials are obviously making quiet deals with him on the local level.
Le Pen, with a theatrical flourish in midweek, announced that he would withdraw half of his candidates from the second round, saying that he feared their presence would split the rightist vote and let a Communist or Socialist win. This move rewarded the local conservatives who were ready to deal with Le Pen, even while it embarrassed those whose refusal to deal with him will probably allow the election of some leftists in districts where the right should be strong.
Chafing under Socialist charges that they are allied to Le Pen, the leaders of the Rally for the Republic and the Union for the French Democracy have announced that, while their candidates will withdraw in favor of each other, they will not withdraw in favor of a Le Pen candidate.