Could another ‘Trump moment’ be approaching? In April 2017, France will vote in the first round of elections to choose the successor to French President François Hollande. It was initially expected to be a fairly dry affair, with Le Pen possibly making it to the second round before being defeated by the “boring” centre-right candidate, François Fillon. However, Fillon’s campaign has been anything but boring.

A series of scandals have continued to dog Fillon, damaging his chances of victory. At this point, it is doubtful whether he will even qualify for the second round, with the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron emerging as the surprise front runner.

Could there be even bigger surprises in store? We had a comment from André, who points out that few commentators seriously expected Donald Trump to become president of the USA (just as few commentators expected the UK to vote for Brexit). Should we stop listening to commentators? And could Le Pen be the next upset?

To get a response, we spoke to François Godement, French historian and professor of political science at Sciences Po. What would he say?

godementI’d say there is obviously a momentum that has been building up [behind Marine Le Pen]. It’s also a momentum by default, if you consider that President Hollande is the first sitting president not to run again, and if you consider that François Fillon – a candidate who was validated by a very large and sweeping primary within the conservative right – is now in a political firestorm unseen since the Fifth Republic was founded…

We are in a very specific situation. The only person left standing, so to speak, seems to be Emmanuel Macron. And he’s a relative newcomer to politics, untested in national political debate, with a lot of interesting ideas and clearly with the appeal of youth. But is that going to be enough? That, indeed, is not completely evident today.

To get another perspective, we also put André’s comment to journalist Christine Ockrent, who has worked for many years in French radio and TV. Given her experience of French politics (and the upsets it can deliver), how would she respond to André?

ockrentI would underline the fact that our political institutions are very different from the American ones. Our presidential election is a two-round majority vote, whereas the American system is indirect because it goes through delegates. That explains why Hillary Clinton was defeated in spite of the fact that she had 2.8 million votes more than Donald Trump. As for Brexit, it was a referendum, which means it was one question – actually quite a complex one – which had to be answered by either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

A presidential election in France is two rounds. When Jean-Marie Le Pen, Madame Le Pen’s father, made it to the first round in 2002 he was rejected in the second round by a majority of 82%… Now, it’s obvious that, 15 years later, the situation is quite different. The far-right’s arguments have clearly made headway in public opinion. Nevertheless, I don’t believe that Le Pen will win the second round. I believe that, whoever the candidate facing her is, her opponent will again benefit from the rejection of the far-right by a majority of the French.

Could Le Pen actually win the French election? Or will voters unite against her in the second round? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Blandine Le Cain


168 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    All Doughty

    Another Putin Puppet as a head of state? No thanks.

    10/04/2017 Christophe Deloire, Director-General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has responded to this comment.

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      Trump has no ties with Rissia but Hillary and Podesta doo.

    • avatar
      All Doughty

      Trump has ties with Russia, all proven. Hilary was actually in Govt at the time. Trump was not and that is the problem.

    • avatar
      Gabriella Anderson

      All Doughty nothing is proven…. except wiki proved killary and putin correspondence

    • avatar
      Adam Janczewski

      Suddenly consipracy theories are the best ways to cope… Everyone is an agent of Russia. Only the status quo can save us…….
      Europe is dead.

    • avatar
      Sopi Andrei

      Russia needs sanctions lifted in order for them to access 500 billion worth of petrol. Trump appoints Exxon Mobile CEO at one of the highest tiers of government while all of his closest peopel in the administration​ have had contact (some illegally) with Russia during the campaign.
      Why would anyone suspect Trump has ties with Russia?!
      Oh yeah, one of his sons is on video saying they do…

  2. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    No, we sow nasty intervention from EU institutions in French affairs, nobody can win in such situation.

    • avatar
      Bobi Dochev

      All the talking at least and at first and the EP actions just before the elections.

  3. avatar
    Alex Sekkpfb

    I trust the French will do the right thing. They´re way more invested on political matters than Americans.

  4. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    Her base is growing, and each French disaster gets her more support. EU is sacrificing its people for political correctness, so this resostance is growing more and more. She can win. If she does not win, her party will still grow. They are major players now.

    • avatar
      Ignacio C. Furfaro

      Her base is actually shrinking. Macron’s base is growing.

    • avatar
      João Machado

      Marko, exactly! The status quo usual players will try whatever they can to destroy her. I think she will win the first round and loose on the second one.

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      I will not speculate, but i think she has a chance to win the whole thing.

    • avatar
      Mìchèal de Staic

      She’s remained stagnant in the polls. Also unlike Trump she needs over 50% of the vote.

  5. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    Her base is growing, and each French disaster gets her more support. EU is sacrificing its people for political correctness, so this resistance is growing more and more. She can win. If she does not win, her party will still grow. They are major players now.

  6. avatar
    Remi Penet

    Nooooo
    Stop that!
    The only way she coups win is if there is a low turnout which never happen with presidential elections in France

  7. avatar
    Tomislav Humić

    Yes, she’s popular and is constantly in the news. That does not mean she will, but remember how it was with trump.

  8. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Looking less likely now. If it’s a Fillon v. LePen match up she has a much better chance but since Fillon’s scandal, that is looking less likely. Macron looks like he will be able to pull voters from the center right in the 2nd round.

  9. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    With all this emphasis on this candidate, let me ask:
    Is a “Trump solution” desirable for France?

  10. avatar
    nando

    With all this emphasis on this candidate, let me ask:

    Is a “Trump solution” desirable for France?

  11. avatar
    Róbert Bogdán

    If the french people wants over one thousand years of proud french history to remain relevant, yes they can vote for Le Pen.

    • avatar
      João Machado

      Show us factual proof for those big claims.. lamestream propaganda not acceptable​ as such

  12. avatar
    Takis Karpoutzoglou

    Please do not compare Trump to Le Pen. There’s no common ground for comparison. Given the profile of the other candidates, yes, I think Mari(an)ne Le Pen could win the elections. Will they allow her to form a government? No! they will not.

  13. avatar
    Gabriella Anderson

    It is so amazing how brainwashed western-europeans are… This liberal pc talk truly wiped away all their national and cultural pride. Le Pen does not seem “nazi”.. In the past her politics was a normal, patriotic way of defending one’s own culture, people and country. Nowadays, illegal immigration and deviance are the fashion… (Illegal!!!!!!! became legal if the left liberals deemed it that way, and going to church slowly becomes illegal. Crazy!!!) A melting pot, where all minorities enjoy advantages over the “majority (which, by-the-way is becoming slowly the minority: christian, white, conservative families) I have 2 kids – I feel worried about their future.

    • avatar
      Akis Muto

      Its your right to defend your country and to be conservative but dont try to enforce it on others or think that its the only expression of patriotism

    • avatar
      Gabriella Anderson

      Akis Muto How did I try to force it on you? So far the left-liberal groups are trying to destroy, beat, kill, stigmatize those who believe in conservative politics. Conservativ, in their vocabulary, means fascist, nazi, extreme right…. Look at what happens inthe US – Trump supporters are beaten, humiliated, etc… Is this democracy, in your opinion?. If Le Pen wins, it woudl be good for France – a littel balance back in their radical liberal views.

  14. avatar
    Wendy Harris

    If the French can find the stomach to fight a revolution then maybe but they will probably just surrender their country to Islam as the Dutch and the Swedes have done.

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      It’s better to surrender to Islam than to fascist cunts like you ;) Kisses from Sweden.

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      They are fascist cunts in case you hadn’t noticed and you are one of them by the sound of it. Enjoy living in the Dark Ages again.

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      Wendy Harris you hear sounds from Facebook comments? You’re a crazy fascist cunt then. You’re all the same so don’t pretend you’re any different. You extremists should all be deported to a desert island where you can finish each other off.

    • avatar
      Wendy Harris

      That doesn’t make sense. If you’re going to speak English try learning more than just swearwords. Appeasers need to join those extremists in the desert where their arse-kissing can be properly appreciated.

    • avatar
      Zeruf Isonfire

      Wendy Harris well then start packing your bags :) And don’t worry about the English language, it won’t be of much use to you where you’re going :D

  15. avatar
    catherine benning

    Could Le Pen actually win the French election?

    If the French feel they can take no more attacks on their civilisation as well as their culture, without fighting back, they have a choice, to either go along with those who tell them they will change the demise they suffer but in all these years never have, or, they can start afresh with a person who vows to do something to change the status quo.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FQ24qSmSiY

    The decision the French have to make is, do they want to take a chance that Le Pen will make a change, or, feel she will be akin to Tsipras of Greece, and immediately fall in line with the Bankers

    What I do know is, remaining with those who lied before and go on practically jumping in step with what they want to be rid of will never free them of the attack they face.

  16. avatar
    Georgia Kanellopoulou

    Non now , but in the next election for sure, as nothing is being done for the protection of French citizens from terror and the overgrowing unemployment​

  17. avatar
    Sebastiano Schavoir

    It is ok for democracies to have outbursts of frustration, hate. On an individual scale, it is the way a person acts. What is not ok, is to ignore the hate and frustration. Who cares about free roaming? Border free countries?.. I do but not everyone apparently. They need to be addressed, convinced that a federal or united europe is good for them. What I read on the internet however are slogans which merely reinforce my own beliefs. While I do acknowledge and approve those communications, they seem futile if targeted against those people who need convincing. We need a handful of politicians who dare to make bold.moves. Because only bold moves make history, not law fine tuning or selfsufficient facebook posts. And once we get an example of how beautifully CECA works, others will follow.

  18. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    The EU has become a self-serving private club that has very little to do with the lives of people around Europe. It would not be surprising if Le Pen gets a lot of support although it is unlikely that she will win the election. However it is a warning to the EU.

    • avatar
      Deborah Griffith

      The French aren’t as stupid as the British about the EU. They know damn well they won’t survive outside it, and they are a founding member, so emotionally attached. There are two round in the French election. Macron is predicted to destroy her in the second roun.

    • avatar
      Paola Lob

      ouiiiiin mais il y a Marineeeee!!!! Oooh je ne t’ai pas demandé pour qui tu vas voter hinhinhin

    • avatar
      Paola Lob

      NON MOI!! Ou Molly, à la limite

    • avatar
      Juliette Juliette

      entre toi et Molly le choix est vite fait: MOLLY

  19. avatar
    Ingrida Marčiulaitytė

    There are people who say there are too many Putin’s puppets in the world. I agree. If Marine Le Pen wins the election of France, she will totally divide EU and destroy the stability and common peace. In other words, Marine Le Pen victory means all EU citizens “living in a yellow submarine”. On the other hand, Macron would become kind of a young…and lacking of experience Putin’s puppet – his decisions would be easily manipulated and influenced by the other pro-russian business and environment. Macron’s campaign looks fake and his pro business attitude is more like cheap talking. In my opinion, France does not have the right candidate this year. Fillon seems to fit in but even this candidate is surrounded by political scandals and unfounded conclusions, thus, has low probability to win.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Ingrida Marčiulaitytė

      Would you please be kind enough to give some evidence of Russian, or, Putin’s interference and connection to any of Frances political candidates up for election. I would really appreciate this as I am always trying to find some kind of reason for all the media and bloggers accusations in this matter.

      How did Putin or his Russian agents make contact with the French politicians. What did he do or say to influence them and where can I find the evidence that this has happened.

      And if this has happened and you have such evidence that can be corroborated, why have the French security services not exposed it and done something about it. For example letting the electorate know where and how this is taking place and what they must watch out for. Who they must contact if they find themselves caught up in it.

      You see if you don’t have proof of what you say, that is libel and libel is not legal. Or, is it?

      It is only fair to look after your fellow citizen if you know something is taking place against their democratic rights. They will all be very pleased to have your information so that they too can check it out and be aware of what they must look out for. It certainly would be helpful to me.

      10/04/2017 Christophe Deloire, Director-General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has responded to this comment.

    • avatar
      Edita Buržinskaitė

      Yeah, Macron is a tool. Of all the present candidates, I’d pick Fillon as the lesser of the evils.

  20. avatar
    Deborah Griffith

    BTW, the French news hardly ever discuss her as they know she won’t win. This is just sensationalist crap.

  21. avatar
    Carmelita Caruana

    Narrow isolationist nationalism has led to wars in the past plus we like being the world’s largest economic power. Go EU!

  22. avatar
    Deividas Šikarskas

    Le Pen is good she said shame on merkel for letting thiese ‘refugees’ criminals in the EU ….. now we have terrorism acts every day …. remove those muslims from here

    • avatar
      Dino Šakanović

      And with EU French will be loser. Don’t forget, French create EU for its own interests ;)

  23. avatar
    Oli Lau

    I really hope she won’t but sadly it looks like French politicians did all they could to provoke it.

  24. avatar
    Malcolm Seychell

    How can the french not vote for her. The current politicians managed to destroy on of the most beautiful countries of the world

  25. avatar
    Angelo Calabria

    Se un arabo non vuole PEN , É un buon motivo per votare la Le Pen ! ” Oggi” non vincerà ma il futuro ” obtorto collo ,i francesi saranno costretti a votarla.

  26. avatar
    Akos Tarkanyi

    I hope she can destroy the perverted political terrorists, the homosexualist and anti-family PS.

  27. avatar
    Stephen James Cooper

    Very unlikely…I would not bet anything that mattered to me on her winning….French elections are very different to even our twisted and unfair system.

  28. avatar
    Christopher Kealy

    France should also have a referendum on Europe. Also, the best currency to properly reflect the value of the french currency is the France, ruled over by a french central bank in Paris, not the Euro, which is ruled from Frankfurt. The Euro is a Deutschmark in disguise, not the right currency for France. And certainly not the right currency for Greece.

    • avatar
      Fabrice Colin

      According to no sensible economist

    • avatar
      Christopher Kealy

      Do you know any sensible economists ? I bet you don’t. Greece needs to dump the Euro, get back the Drachma, and its own central bank, devalue, and fight its way back to economic competitiveness. Then the tourist and the companies will come back.

    • avatar
      Christopher Kealy

      Some of the northern european countries could retain the Euro if they wish, but not the southern european ones. They can’t keep up.

    • avatar
      Richard Halewyck

      The Euro will collapse itself within 2 years as prouve the German banks bring back their gold reserves !

  29. avatar
    Larma Vince

    As a French myself i definitely will vote for Krusty or Goofy,i need to make mind up before May

    • avatar
      Axel Baran

      Well that what we thought for Trump and Brexit. The polls were wrong on both counts.

  30. avatar
    eleni

    She will lose the election and then she will be consigned to oblivion.

  31. avatar
    Rolando Renzi

    Fermez m.me Lepen. C’est une personne dangereuse pour tous. No au populism, no au fascism. Oui à la republique. Oui à la laicitè!

    • avatar
      Richard Halewyck

      Le facisme vient de la gauche, ne retournez pas la situation ! (Hitler= National Socialisme)
      De plus lors de la dernière guerre, les gauchistes etaient les collabos avec les nazis, et ils ont rejoint les resistants que dans les derniers jours.
      Je suis un descendant de Pierre Brossolette et de Robert Halewyck tous deux morts pour la France !!!

  32. avatar
    Talis Briedis

    Hopefully France will not be victim to this sham. The Russian cyberwar is being tested right here. The Kremlin is happy for their victory in the US, let’s not make the same mistake again!!!

    10/04/2017 Christophe Deloire, Director-General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has responded to this comment.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Talis Briedis

      Are you serious in this absolute rubbish you have written here.

      Clinton lost as she and the policies of her puppet Obama were despised by the American people. The only way out they had was Trump.

      Had the Democrats not cheated their champion Bernie Sanders they would have won that election.

      And you sound as if you have swallowed the simpletons brainwashing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Hg_jL9yfNQ

  33. avatar
    Talis Briedis

    Hopefully France will not be victim to this sham. The Russian cyberwar is being tested right here. The Kremlin is happy for their victory in the US, let’s not make the same mistake again!!!

  34. avatar
    jj Gendre

    J’espère qu’elle sera élue, elle a la carrure pour et il faut en finir avec tous ceux quiu nous trompent depuis plus de 30 ans et qui s’en fichent du peuple.

  35. avatar
    Karolina

    Theoretically speaking, anyone running could win it. But I don’t think that Le Pen will.

    I find that these far-right politicians, as well as other small political parties, are given far more coverage in the media than the amount of popularity they enjoy or the number of votes they get. I would say they owe at least a percentage of their popularity to media coverage…

  36. avatar
    David Lucas

    Brexit, Indy (Scotland) Trump, LePen are all symptoms of the same economic macro trends playing out, there are no surprises..

  37. avatar
    Ginster Plantagenet

    I am afraid so. It would be a desaster and I hope the French will not go through with her to the 2nd round. I see those who are pro are not French? glad you cannot vote then

  38. avatar
    Hannah

    It is so funny that all Brexiteers want Le Pen to win. They don’t care about her policies or France they just want to see the EU fall apart so that they can say they were right. No matter the consequences! I am curious to see what will happen if the EU doesn’t fall apart but reforms itself and prospers while the UK enters an economic crisis. For me this scenario as likely as the complete opposite.

  39. avatar
    Dganan

    Is funny how people hate on Trump so much they really buy into the mass media. Over in Europe Trump is Satan. Actually over here too. In reality Trump ain’t that bad. And Le Pen ain’t that bad either.

    Left is associated with globalism now and globalism is associated with a loss of national identity and or autonomy. Is not just Europe that is going nationalistic is the entire world. In fact Arab Spring and ISIS is a reaction to globalists + mass media creating all these wars to install democracies everywhere.

    Is a fact that left wingers created most of the middle east wars to destabilize the area.

    Is also funny how Russia is scapegoated so much by western media. Russia is problematic because they are indeed trying to destabilize the area but also because is a threat to globalists. Russia runs their own imperialist ideology trying to take over the west. Where as Putin is out in the open the western elites they do it all from the shadows. For example read about Soros and his “democratizing” campaigns .

    Europe has always been colonial and always tried to take over others. And Le Pen and Brexit and Trump are people who represent the will of the people STOP trying to take over the world focus on yourselves.

    HECK YEA I want Le Pen to win. She is problematic and is not want you want but is what you need. Europe and the west has been spending too much time trying to “globalize” aka make wars and destabilize middle east instead of focusing on their own problems.

    NATO peacekeeping is good
    globalism is bad

    I used to hate Trump but I’m all for Trump now 100% I slowly realized what’s REALLY going on. Is a mass media MASS indoctrination of people false flagging various targets such as middle east, Russia in order to excuse creating wars to install “democracies” everywhere aka puppet governments of the elites.

  40. avatar
    Zille Vuk

    the way i see it, you have Macron that wont change nothing and France will have more people without jobs, more terrorist and salafist oragnization and French people are fucked because Europe is not functioning !!! On the other hand you have Marie le Pen the true Franseze,true patriot,true woman with hart and soul for Franch people and she dare to go against EU establishment to save French sinking in more terorist atacs and more people without jobs and lets face the truth, imigration and islamisering of europa must stop and Marien is the only way.. thank you for reading..

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