Thursday, February 23, 2017

French Elections a primer


Don't read Zero Hedge or the other right wing  about the French presidential elections!

The French have many political parties and they wanted their president to be elected with an absolute majority.  The solution:  Presidential election with two votes, the first will take place on April 23 2017 and if the winner has less than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will have a run-off election on May 7th -- two weeks later.

Now, Marine LePen is polling at 27%, which gives her the lead, but doesn't make her the president, because most French detest the far right party that is anti-europe, anti-immigation and basically racist.  So the runner up at 20% is Macron, an ex-socialist (economy minister) that was considered too far to the right (of the socialist party) then you have Fillion at 17% and the others somewhat less than that.

The key here is who is going to be #2.  Everyone believes that slightly more than 1/4 of the French electorate are pro-Front National, but that still only 1/4 -- most socialists will not vote for LePen nor will most conservative.

The polls have been consistent, LePen is always around 25/30% and never more.  The French, unlike the Americans see voting as a solemn duty, and therefore they will vote.  They may not love Macron or Fillion, but they will vote for them to keep the far right out of office.  Now its always possible that France has a change of heart -- after all Trump did happen!

But the number tell a very different and consistent story.  Moreover, Macro (the #2) is well regarded by the Socialist (he was one of them) and by the conservative (he likes a lot of their policies).

The odds of LePen winning are very lower, probably in the order of 5%. But as with Trump 5% is not zero.


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