23 AUGUST 1851, Page 1

The elections of 1852 continue to occupy the imaginations of

all parties in France, and give form and colon; to all their move- ments. • The latest rumours attribute to Ministers a project for averting disturbances apprehended from the discontent of the dis- - enfranchised by the law of the 31st of May. It is feared that nurn- bers of the disfranchised may present themselves at the poll-booths, and claim to exercise the suffrage of which they have bean deprind, To prevent this, it is said to be in eoutemplaav to allow elective to take place simultaneously in net more than six neighbouring de- partments at once,' and to concentrate troops in the vicinity of. those departments where' elections are in progress, to enforce obe- dience to the law. Against the probability of this report it is urged, in the first place, that the President has of himself no au- thority to regulate the elections ; in the second, that Louis Napo- leon having expressed an opinion that the law of 31st May is ap- plicable only to the elections for the Assembly, not to the election of the President, is unlikely to commit himself to the policy indi- cated. His chances would indeed be greatly diminished by en- forcing the application of the law of 31st May to the Presidential election. If any other candidate can obtain such a proportional minority as would warrant the interposition of the Assembly, the rejection of Louis Napoleon by that body, as legally disqualified, is almost certain. His prospects of reelection depend upon his obtaining so large a majority as will exclude any reference to the Assembly. Such a majority he is most likely to obtain if the President be elected by universal suffrage. In that ease, tbe masses, who know nothing of any other candidate—as they knew Louis Napoleon himself by name only—will almost certainly give their votes for him. It is a curious hold he has upon the French pub- lic : if reelected, he will owe his renewed lease of power solely to popular ignorance.