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A French Bradley effect?

U.S. political junkes are well aware of the "Bradley effect," a scenario in which embarassed white voters tell pollsters they're planning on voting for a minority candidate, then vote for a white one when they get in the booth, producing misleading results.

The Bradley effect turned out to be a non-factor in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, but Le Monde suggests [French] it may have appeared in a somewhat mutated form in France's regional elections this week, where Jean-Marie Le Pen's anti-immigrant National Front performed much better than pollsters expected, taking third place with 11.7 of the vote and likely contributing to an embarassing first-round defeat for Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling conservatives. French pollsters now suggest that a portion of the FN's electorate may have been embarassed to admit to supporting Le Pen's radical views. 

Logically, a Bradley effect would only be an issue in countries where racial prejudice is widespread enough in influence the result of an election, but taboo enough that citizens are embarassed to admit to it, even in an anonymous poll. It would be interesting to find out how many countries this applies to.

Do readers know of any other countries which have had Bradley-type election results?

(Hat tip: The Monkey Cage)

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

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Lockerbie bomber's health "greatly improved"

Seven months after he was released from British prison with supposedly only three months to live, convicted Pan-Am bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi is apparently doing just fine

The health of the freed Lockerbie bomber has 'greatly improved' now he is home in Libya, Colonel Gaddafi's son boasted yesterday.

He said Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi was doing much better since being released seven months ago by the Scots on compassionate grounds because he had 'only three months to live'.

In words which will confirm the suspicions of Lockerbie victims' families, Saif Gaddafi - widely tipped to succeed his father as Libyan leader - also finally admitted that the convicted killer's release had dominated trade talks with Britain.


This would have included discussions about lucrative oil deals, despite the fact that Megrahi was officially released purely on compassionate grounds. Five months after the release, Libya announced plans to invest £5billion in the UK.  [...]

London-educated Saif Gaddafi told the respected Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Megrahi 'was sick and was released for humanitarian reasons, and was soon in better health and in a good condition. His future is now in God's hands'.

More bad news for Gordon Brown. 

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images