For Pill, France’s runoff vote on May 7 reflects a broader trend in which: “The traditional left/right spectrum of political opinion maybe is dissolving, or at least is being paralleled with another spectrum going from the sort of Eurosceptic, more nationalistic side, towards a more internationalist, pro-European globalist side”.
Voters are choosing among 11 presidential candidates in the most unpredictable contest in generations.
Independent candidate Macron won the first round of the Presidential elections on Sunday and will face Le Pen of the extreme right National Front in the May 7 runoff.
“Macron and Marine Le Pen have emerged as the two key winners of the French elections”.
Speaking on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Moshe Kantor described Le Pen as “dangerous” and adds that it was “extremely regrettable that more than one in five French voters voted for Le Pen”.
The US dollar, meanwhile, remained under pressure amid scepticism regarding US President Donald Trump’s fiscal stimulus promises and “the weakening US dollar is pushing NZD/USD higher, targeting the 71.00 area this week”.
Far-left firebrand Mélenchon, whose popularity surged in the final weeks of the race following impressive performances in the television debates, has so far refused to concede defeat, but said he would accept the final results when they came in. Turnout was 78 percent.
The result of Sunday’s vote is a vindication of his decision to quit the government of unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande in August a year ago to concentrate on building up his own centrist political movement “En Marche” (“On the Move”). He didn’t seek re-election.
The former investment banker and economy minister, not on the radar two years ago, is boosting his chances to become France’s youngest president in the country’s modern history. “We didn’t do the work – intellectual, ideological and political – on what the left is, and we paid the price”.
“Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France”, defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said.
Vocal Trump supporters on Twitter have been congratulating Marine Le Pen, focusing on her hard line stance on immigration and what they see as a potential poll-defying victory, in the vein of Mr Trump’s win or the UK’s Brexit vote. “There is not one domain that he shows one ounce of patriotism”, she said. Asian stocks were mixed Monday as investors weighed the results of a closely watched election in France. “The centre is stronger than the populists think!”
In Le Pen’s northern bastion of Henin-Beaumont, several activists from the feminist group Femen were arrested Sunday after staging a topless protest against her. Police intervened and stopped the commotion minutes before the candidate arrived to cast her ballot. The game is over, Macron is president already.
Mr Fillon said he would vote for Mr Macron on May 7 because Ms Le Pen’s programme “would bankrupt France” and throw the European Union into chaos.
High-profile European leaders have also given Mr Macron their backing.
“It will be interesting to see whether the same complacency that left us surprised last June – when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union – creeps back into the markets in the coming weeks”, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “It is time to free French people from arrogant elites”.