France and Tightening of the Ranks: Fillon, Le Pen, Macron, and Melenchon in a Tight Race
Sarah Deschamps, Noriko Watanabe, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
According to international media reports, the first round of the presidential elections in France was meant to be between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen supports a nationalist policy tinged with opposing globalisation. Macron, not so easy to pin down because of not espousing strong policy objectives, apart from a form of “Tony Blairism,” is deemed to be a centrist. However, recent opinion polls show that Francois Fillon, despite all the negative press in relation to “alleged” corruption, is far from a spent force for conservative forces based on his tenaciousness. More remarkably, the candidate representing the far-left, Jean-Luc Melenchon, is suddenly spurting in popularity and gaining more media attention.
Le Pen and Melenchon despite belonging to the opposite sides of the political spectrum are equally setting off alarm bells throughout the European Union (EU). After all, both oppose the intricacies of the EU and plan to hold a future referendum on the membership of the EU if elected.
Ironically, for Le Pen, she may now be deemed a more moderate figure in certain circles. Of course, this doesn’t apply to mass immigration and issues related to “alleged” Islamization. However, in relation to NATO, Melenchon is adamant that France should pull out of NATO. Similarly, the far-left candidate seeks greater government spending and an upper tax on the most wealthy of 90 percent. Therefore, suddenly Le Pen will be deemed a more moderate candidate in some quarters outside of issues related to mass immigration and deporting illegals.
Reuters reports, “The outside possibility of a second-round showdown between Le Pen and Melenchon, both of whom propose a referendum on France’s membership of the European Union if their attempts to overhaul the bloc fail, has raised concern among some investors after last year’s shock British vote to leave the bloc.”
The above comment by Reuters is the most alarming prospect for the traditional political order of France, the EU, and NATO. It is more than possible that one of them may reach the final two candidates. Yet, currently, despite the recent unpredictable nature of Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump in America, it is most unlikely that both Le Pen and Melenchon will come first and second in the first round.
Le Pen recently said, “What is at stake in this election … is whether France can still be a free nation… The divide is not between the left and right any more but between patriots and globalists.”
Le Pen also stated strongly, “Financial globalisation and Islamist globalisation are helping each other out … Those two ideologies want to bring France to its knees.”
Overall, the only current certainty is that no individual is in a clear lead when it comes to the first round of the presidential election. Macron, it would appear, is the darling of the political class and media circus that overhypes what they support by stealth. However, Macron, who still remains the favourite of eventually winning the second round if he faces Le Pen or Melenchon – providing he finishes in the first two in the first round, appears to be yet another globalist clone backed by the politically correct agenda.
Hence, for Macron he currently fears Fillon reaching the second round because conservatives, elements of the Catholic traditional vote, and loyalists of Le Pen will all counter against Macron in the second round if it becomes a straight vote between Fillon and Macron. Similarly, ardent voters of Melenchon will not easily go over to Macron if he reaches the second round unless it is against Le Pen. Therefore, the final stages of the presidential first round election are certainly up for grabs and the same applies to the eventual second round depending on the final two candidates.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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