Forward unto the French Final Round: Possible Scenarios

From Reuter’s data deep dive:

france-election-results-01

Marine Le Pen’s 2nd place win was not unexpected; analysts have been calling for that for months.  What was more unexpected was Emmanuel Macron’s win, as well as the total collapse of the Socialist party.  Final polls indicated it would be a Macron-Le Pen runoff; in that, believers in data can take some comfort.

Now there are some key questions that will be answered by the final round on May 7th.

First, how will the supporters of the now-defeated Socialist and Republican voters behave?  Will they rally around Macron because Le Pen is too awful to consider?  Will they stay home?  Or will some decide Le Pen’s presidency is worth the gamble, much as once Democratic Midwestern voters in the United States handed the election to Trump and post-industrial working class cities in the UK pushed Brexit over the line?

Second, if Le Pen is defeated, does this mean the beginning of a new French political era, or just more chaos to come?  For if Macron becomes president but achieves nothing, Marine Le Pen, or another leader of the National Front, can run again in 2022 and try the same trick twice.  We shouldn’t forget that Macron, while a relative outsider, still has deep connections in the French Establishment: his mentor is sitting (and deeply unpopular) President Francios Hollande.  Worse, Macron’s relative inexperience can backfire: he may spend so much time learning the world of politics he achieves little beyond basic competency in an age that needs excellence to survive.

Moreover, if neither the French Socialists nor the neoliberal Republicans can govern, and if Macron ends up being just an awkward compromise between their dying ideologies, how does that bode for the future?

The tumult of French politics does have dark presages in the 1920s and 30s, when government after government failed to solve the Great Depression and instead opened social space for the rise of the French Communists and fascists.  These two forces rotted away the Third Republic until it collapsed in the face of Nazi tanks.

While today is not as dire as then, we should not presume that just because Macron wins that France’s political destiny is written.  He must achieve results, or he will bury his own nascent movement beneath the same dirt as the Republicans and Socialists.  That will leave the field wide open for a Le Pen presidency and a deeply uncertain European future.

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3 thoughts on “Forward unto the French Final Round: Possible Scenarios”

  1. Does anybody speak French here ? Do yu know France ? After 10 years in Russia becoming the darling of the US CIA and German CIA I had to leave the nazi Bavaria CIA and left for the border region France Germany. In the year 2015 and 2016 I spent time in France in Alsace. What do you thing is going on there ? Its a Arab dominated country. And if you are not politically correct you are out. If the French police does not help you your are out. But more importantly if you see the poistive discrimination of Arabs you understand that this not about revenge for colonial times. It is the systematic destruction of anything French European and old French native yes White people. I am really sad to see how the French people who fougght for human rights during the French Revolution have to suffer this fate from Arabrs and Muslims who care NOTHING about modern and free societies unless of course it benefits them. Furthermore, France is made ridiculous by nazi Germany by USA by all kind of people from the West but 200 years ago all LIBERTY in Europe started in FRANCE

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  2. If Marine Le Pen fails in May, I don’t think that Putin will pay her for another 5 years.
    He will move on to another target. Germany.
    And in the 2018 the target is Italy. Italy looks like a sure victim. All the parties in the Italian Parliament want to exist EU, excepting Partito Democratico (Matteo Renzi, who is nou out). Italy looks like the most likely place where the European Union dies an Putin finally triumphs.
    I really hope there are some smart people in Bruxelles doing something about this.

    Liked by 1 person

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