The French presidential election next year is starting to look very interesting indeed. The victory of François Fillon in the Republican primaries means that there is now a genuine far-right candidate in the race. Fillon is not just copying the FN’s rhetoric on immigration and Islam. On economic issues he appears to be a kind of globalist Thatcherite.
What this means is that Marine Le Pen is now the moderate centre-left candidate! Of course it remains to be seen whether she will be able to persuade the French voters that Fillon is a dangerous extremist who intends to destroy the French nation completely in order to serve his globalist agenda.
How will the media in France react to Fillon’s candidacy? Will they demonise him? It would certainly be easy to do. His economic policies will bring ruin and social chaos. He is an unabashed social conservative. He promises to crack down on immigration and Islam. He is pro-Putin. He is a long long way to the right of Le Pen. On the other hand he is a reliable supporter of globalism and the EU.
Will Fillon’s toxic economic policies lead to a revival of the fortunes of the Socialists? Le Pen’s best chance (and it’s a very slim chance) would be to face a Socialist candidate in the second round. At the moment the Socialists are so unpopular that they’re virtually an irrelevance but could Fillon’s Thatcherite policies galvanise disillusioned Socialist voters?
And if Le Pen faces Fillon in the second round of the election will Socialist voters throw their support behind a hard right candidate like Fillon?
Would the French actually be foolish to elect a man like Fillon? They were dumb enough to elect Hollande so anything is possible.
Gallia Watch has some interesting (and scary) stuff about Fillon.