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François Hollande, widely considered to be a failure with single digit approval ratings, has – unusually for French politics – decided not to run for a second term.
The polls are now split almost evenly between four canditates: The neoliberal Emmanuel Macron; the hard left Jean-Luc Mélenchon; the conservative François Fillon; and the nationalist Marine Le Pen.
The Socialist candidate, Benoît Hamon, a representative of the Globalist Left who advocates for greater social spending, a universal basic income, and is on record complaining about there being “too many white people” in his hometown of Brest, is trailing badly in the polls.
The two frontrunners will face off in a second round on May 7.
Source: Data Debunk.
The power summary below is mostly based on that conversation.
- Ideology: Populist Left.
- Wikipedia: “Domestic policies proposed by Mélenchon include a 100 per cent income tax on all French nationals earning over 360,000 Euros a year, full state reimbursement for healthcare costs, a reduction in presidential powers in favour of the legislature, and the easing of immigration laws.“
- That said, the Guardian’s neoliberal warmonger Natalie Nougayrède really dislikes him for his populism and relatively Russophile positions, so he can’t be all that bad.
- Ideology: Globalist Center.
- Former banker for Rothschild & Cie Banque; Minister of Economy under Hollande, but refrained from becoming a member of the Socialist Party, and has disassociated himself from Hollande’s government; pushed for reforms to make the labor market more flexible; used that as springboard to market himself as independent candidate.
- “No such thing as French culture, there is only culture in France and it is diverse.“
- Obama at least waited until he became President to start his apology tour. Called French colonialism a crime against humanity while in Algiers.
- Russophobe – promises he will force Putin to “respect” France.
- According to Durocher, “a very strange dude.” Married his HS teacher at the age of 18, even though she was 24 years his senior and had three children from a previous marriage. Unusually for a French politician, he has refrained from having affairs with younger women.
- Is seen as the favorite of the Establishment liberal elites, and usually leads in the polls.
- Durocher: Is getting the HRC treatment – journalists love him, oligarchs love him, he is on all the trendy magazine covers! But as with HRC, this implies that there might also be an artificial character to his poll numbers.
- Ideology: Globalist Right.
- Catholic; married to Englishwoman, has 4 children; PM under Sarkozy; not radical, but went off the reservation when he said France should help Putin against ISIS – in French politics, you have to be anti-Assad (and de facto pro-Islamist).
- Moderately Russophile: Has acknowledged Crimea is Russian in “terms of history, culture and language,” and stresses the right of national self-determination, recalling Kosovo. But is this a genuine position, or a marketing ploy to gain the support of French farmers hoping for a repeal of Russian food sanctions?
- Started off strong, but has since become embroiled in corruption scandals – usually this happens to politicians after their Presidency, not before. He has lost the support of the UDI party, and his spokesman has resigned. Durocher notes that he has never seen this amount of pressure against a mainstream candidate. This is suspicious, because many French politicians practice petty nepotism.
Marine Le Pen
- Ideology: Populist/Nationalist Right.
- Not as hardcore as her father, but still the best from an HBD/IQ-realistic perspective: Wants to shut down immigration, make naturalization virtually impossible, no birthright citizenship. If she can fulfill her promises, she will at least put a tourniquet on the demographic replacement.
- Durocher: While the National Assembly may be uncooperative, she can put some items of her program to the referendum, such as #Frexit.
- Strongly Russophile: Has stated that Crimea is Russian, that Russia is as European a country as any, has personally met with Putin (if she is going to be accused of being a Russian shill, one supposes she might as well reap the benefits of it by posing for a photo opp with a major world leader).
Who Will Win?
As Durocher said, the media absolutely loves Macron; according to a study by Harris Interactive, he gets more than twice as much positive as negative coverage (46% to 19%).
The numbers are almost inverse for Melenchon (20% to 35%), and unrelentingly negative for both Fillon (11% to 57%) and Le Pen (15% to 55%).
(Free Western media, folks! Not biased Kremlin TV.)
Le Pen suffers from the classic problem of all nationalists in multiparty systems – there is a hard ceiling to their support, beyond which all other forces – liberals, socialists, conservatives, maybe Islamists at some point in the future – set aside their differences to shove Hitler back into the closet.
For instance, in a Macron vs. Le Pen second round, /ourgal/ is pretty much bounded at 40%.
A vast improvement over her father, to be sure – his ceiling was around 20% – but still apparently hopeless.
In line with this, the Depuis 1958 Monte Carlo simulations model predicts the following chances of ultimate victory: Macron 91%; Melenchon 5%; Fillon 4%; Le Pen 0%.
On the other hand, if Brexit and Trump have demonstrated anything, it’s that opinion polls can be wrong – especially regarding unrespectable, or as we Russians ironically say, “unhandshakeworthy,” questions.
As Durocher points out, there is this dominant ideology in France – the only respectable and “handshakeworthy” one – that stands for globalism, for open borders, for devolution of sovereignty to the EU, for dependence on financial markets, for demographic replacement with an “endless tide of Africans and Muslims.” If you are don’t like it, then too bad, you are a fascist. Just as a Silicon Valley office drone would be well advised to keep his pro-Trump opinions to himself, so as a Le Pen supporter you will be ostracized from many French social circles.
And there is good evidence that there is a “Shy Tory” effect in France. In the famous 2002 elections, for instance, opinion polls had Jean-Marie Le Pen at 8%, hopelessly behind favorites Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin.
In the event, Le Pen stormed in to a second place finish with 16.9%, just above Jospin with 16.2%, though the forces of the Republic rallied in the second round to deny the fascist victory.
More importantly, the gamblers – the people with #skininthegame, the people who put their money where their mouths are – consider that Marine Le Pen has a ~30% chance of eventual victory (Oddschecker, PredictIt).
The gamblers were more correct than the pollsters and experts on Brexit. The gamblers were more correct than the pollsters and experts on Trump. Now we are are about to see if we can complete the trifecta.
Betting against the gamblers is… a gamble.
Feel free to place your predictions in the comments.
EDIT: Rather belated, but here’s a Vote Compass for this election: https://votecompass.france24.com/president/home