The French Presidential Election-- Take One

The first round in France's presidential election is April 10 and if no one wins a majority-- a certainty since there are nearly 40 canddiates-- there will be a runoff between the 2 top vote-getters 2 weeks later. There are too many candidates-- too many candidates for me to figure out the intricacies. I mean I know there are a couple of Nazis running (sort of sitting between Trump and Hitler ideologically)-- Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, who never shuts up and has "no filter."

The far right is very far right and very Trumpist in orientation. Zemmour has been found guilty of inciting racial hatred after going on TV to describe unaccompanied migrant children and doing his best Trump imitation: "They have nothing to do here, they are thieves, they are murderers, they are rapists, that's all they are, they must be sent back and they must not even come... It's a permanent invasion." It was the 16th time he was prosecuted for inciting racial hate and this time he was fined 10,000 Euros and will face a prison sentence if he doesn't pay.

Robert Ménard, mayor of Béziers and a well-known far right imbecile who backs Le Pen, is demanding that Le Pen and Zemmour join forces and that only one of them run for president.

"Today if the polls are to be believed our right has the majority in the broader right-wing and represents a third of the electorate, but we are doomed to lose the elections because of their egos, their stables, their parties," he added.
According to an IFOP poll released on Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron... would come out on top of the first round with 27% of the vote.
Valérie Pécresse of the mainstream right-wing party Les Republicains (LR) and Le Pen would each secure 16.5% of the vote while Zemmour is projected to claim 13.5% of ballots.
Ménard said he told the two candidates his concerns during dinners last week.
"I told them, you are mad as hell, you risk finding yourselves in a situation where neither of them will be in the second round and it will be Mrs Pécresse," he added.

I asked a member of Congress-- a foreign policy expert-- what he makes out of the left falling to pieces. His assessment is that "The Socialist Party candidate in the election, who has been the Mayor of Paris for eight years, is now 8th in the polls, at 3%. In a 'Primary for the People,' limited to leftist candidates only, she came in 5th. The top four candidates in the race are all right-wingers. This is really grim."

When I asked if he could really call Macron a right-winger, he acknowledged that Macron is a centrist but "if one had to put him on the left or the right, he would be on the right. He’s basically a 'Make France Great Again' nationalist, without the overt racism of LePen or Zemmour (who manages to be Jewish and racist at the same time)... The Left basically is pulling a quarter of the vote, collectively, and that’s despite the 'product differentiation' of having eight different candidates making specialized narrow appeals. Arthaud is pitching to educators, Poutou is pitching to leftist factory workers and other people stuck in bad jobs, Roussel is a Communist, Melenchon is pitching to the Angry Left, Taubira is doing identity politics, Hildalgo is a platform socialist, Jadot is an environmentalist and Thouy supports animal rights (which is a real thing in Europe). Eight different ways to strike a chord, and all of them together might not even make it into the runoff. It’s an utter collapse."

All the February polling so far-- and there's more than an average of one poll a day-- shows Macron leading the pack with around a quarter of the vote (25%). Generally in second place is LePen with around 17%. Zemmour is nipping at her heals with around 15%, followed by Pécresse with around 10% The most recent poll (Feb 8-11) was done by Opinion Way and it's pretty typical of all the polling this month:

  • Emmanuel Macron- 24%

  • Marine Le Pen- 17%

  • Valérie Pécresse-16%

  • Eric Zemmour- 14%

  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon- 9%

  • Fabien Roussel- 5%

  • Yannick Jadot- 5%

  • Christiane Taubira- 3%

  • Anne Hidalgo- 3%

  • Jean Lassalle- 2%

  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan- 1%

  • Phillippe Poutou- 1%

They also did one on one matchups with the top two candidates. So if the runoff were held today, Macron would beat any of his likely rivals.

  • Macron 53%, Pécresse 47%

  • Macron 56%, Le Pen 44%

  • Macron 62%, Zemmour 38%