The French election was held over the weekend as no candidate won a majority, a second balloting will take place on May 7 pitting the two alternate political party front-runners.
The runoff will pit Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! party and Marine Le Pen of the National Front party. This is the first election in recent memory where neither candidate is from the leading political parties.
Macron is the more traditional leftist candidate saying he will standby the euro and wants a strong EU. For this reason his coming in first with 24% in the election Sunday was the catalyst behind the soaring global stock markets on Monday. Hell, even Deutsche Bank’s stock shot up 11% on his showing.
Le Pen’s stance is more far right and like Donald Trump’s plank, she is reaching out to disenfranchised middle class voters, wanting to see France exit the euro like Britain.
Le Pen’s 21.3% tally edged out François Fillon, the Republican party candidate, who ran a scandal-scarred campaign.
In early polling Macron has a 61%-39% lead over Le Pen. These numbers seem eerily similar to Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers during last fall’s election in the US. And we know how accurate that polling was. I would wager that at some point the Brexit vote had the same margin of passing prior to that vote in Britain.
I believe Le Pen will be able to give Macron a tough campaign in the run-off election, since there is much discontent with the French middle class on a host of issues related to its place within the euro zone.
From farming restrictions and regulations to its decades-old battle with immigration, the middle class has seen its way-of-life degrade, as more decisions affecting their lives were made in Brussels and not Paris.
The Sunday polling saw one of the largest voter turn outs in recent history, suggesting that all is not well within the 5th Republic of France and that change may be in the air.
Macron, 39, is a former investment banker for the Rothschild Bank and as such sees the European Union as the savior of a more socialistic society. He started his own party just last year in order to run. He left government in 2008 to work in finance.