A thoughtful left critique as well as this report are both good reads for a real flavour of this so-unconventional candidate. Macron has defied every possible rule of French traditional politics. He is still under 40. He has created a Party which will advertise online for people to stand as MPs in June’s Parliamentary Elections. It’s centrist ‘Third Way’ Clinton/Blair/Schroder economics decades on. Vigorously pro-EU and possibly an almost unheard-of-these-days federalist, he proudly claims to have the only pro-European movement in France. This Presidential Election will be the first time he will have stood for political office. Publicly, unlike many Socialists, he supported Merkel’s welcoming of immigrants. He has condemned the Socialists’ endless renewal of France’s State of Emergency.
State of the Candidates
Both major traditional Parties have selected a candidate (Fillon for the Right, Hamon for the Left) that swathes of their traditional voters reject intellectually, emotionally and politically. So far neither of them seems likely to gain much support outside their traditional ranks. Macron now appears on equal footing with Fillon (around 21%) in most polls. Hence the importance of that 1st round vote.
But out front in every poll week after week after week is still Marine Le Pen (Front National). She consistently gets 25%+ in the 1st round polls. Don’t worry, she is predicted to lose heavily in every 2nd round poll – incidentally polling worse against Macron than Fillon. I would worry if it turned out to be Fillon v Le Pen in the 2nd round.
I was very struck by the report from a conservative American polling organisation: it considered it was getting unreliable data by asking how people would vote in the U.S. Presidential Election. The polling organisation said they thought they were obtaining more reliable, honest information by asking voters not how they intended to vote, but rather how they thought their neighbour would vote. The responses produced far higher figures for Trump. Does ‘shy Tory’ equal ‘reticent LePenist’?