There are convincing rumours doing the rounds that Jacques Chirac and his cronies worked an interesting dodge in the 2002 French presidential election. In the first round, they arranged for a whole bunch of votes for Lionel Jospin to 'disappear' so that he came third behind Jean-Marie Le Pen. As a result, the only credible [in the loosest possible sense of the word] challenger was eliminated and even the Looney Left voted for Chirac in the final round to keep Le Pen out.
Why did his side take this massive risk?
Simple. Chirac faces questioning about cronyism - on a scale which would make even Tony Blair blush - and massive fraud. He has to stay in office to stay out of gaol - and rigging the election so that he faced someone unelectable in the final round was a great way of doing it. And his victory gave the French people a chance to feel very proud of themselves because they'd chosen to vote for a thief instead of a fascist.
This must be true because our source said it was.