Marine Le Pen made major gains
Marine Le Pen achieved major gains in the first round of the French Presidential election.
Le Pen and her supporters now face an interesting choice. They could now switch to Sarkosi to keep Hollande out of the race, but then they know that Sarkosi would sneer at them if their votes elected him. Of a bad choice, Sarkosi is marginally better in the interests of France but a long way short of being the desirable choice even for his core supporters. Le Pen’s supporters could hardly vote for Hollande, even though it might be in their longer term interest to replace Sarkosi with Hollande.
So far, Le Pen has had a good campaign, moving her party into credible contention to eventually form a French Government. She now has to weigh up the options and encourage her supporters to back her choice, but that choice could be to abstain in the second round ballot.
In all those who supported Le Pen in the first round stayed at home in the second round, Hollande would be elected by a strong margin. If they all supported Sarkosi he might scrape in with a small majority. If Le Pen’s core supporters all abstained, Hollande would win by a small margin. The latter situation would be in Le Pen’s best political interest because it would mean a tax and spend President would upset the markets, destabilize government and the EU without even a strong mandate for the turmoil. From the ashes Le Pen could emerge as the leader of the Party of Government.
May we live in interesting times.