Carla Bruni-Sarkozy confession: 'I no longer feel left wing'
France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has confessed to no "longer feeling left-wing" after three years of marriage to the country's conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
The supermodel-turned-singer's reputation as a "luvvie Lefty" has been cited as a major handicap to Mr Sarkozy's re-election, and her political change of heart is an attempt to boost support for her unpopular husband among his core Right-wing electorate.
Only two years ago Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy had claimed that she was "instinctively left-wing" after at one stage supporting her husband's Socialist rival in the 2007 presidential elections. She had also publicly opposed Mr Sarkozy's plan to conduct DNA tests on immigrants.
In 2008, she told the Libération newspaper: "Nobody has to be joined at the hip in politics or with one's husband". A year earlier she told a British newspaper: "I would never vote on the Right."
But in Monday's interview with Le Parisien newspaper, she said her previous political persuasion was only due to her belonging to a "community of artists." "We were bobo (bourgeois bohemians), we were left-wing but at that time I voted in Italy (her native country)." I have never voted for the Left in France and I can tell you, I'm not about to start now. I don't really feel left-wing anymore," she said.
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy has French nationality and can thus vote in next year's presidential elections, when her husband is expected to stand for a second five-year term.
She said her political U-turn was down to the recent behaviour of the French Left. "I have heard Socialist officials say the same kinds of things as the National Front say, and I have been really shocked," she claimed.
But she denied being on the "campaign trail". Mr Sarkozy is yet to confirm he will run in 2012.
"It is frankly up to him to choose what he wants to do in 2012. But of course if he does choose to stand, I'll be right there behind him."
A recent poll suggested that 66 per cent of the French approved of Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy as France's first lady. She has notably been credited with improving her husband's cultural credentials. Last week, Mr Sarkozy rattled off a string of obscure, highbrow films and books he claimed to have recently watched or read.
"I am not joking," he told a throng of incredulous journalists.