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France’s Battle Royale

2 minute read


The center-right candidate for Les Républicains is a free-market evangelist who wants Russian sanctions lifted and takes a hard-line stance on immigration and Islamic terrorism. He was leading in polls until becoming engulfed in a scandal over claims he paid public funds to his wife. He denies the allegations, but the party is said to be eyeing replacements.


The far-right National Front leader is staunchly anti-immigration, vowing to cut admissions by 95%. She promises to dismantle France’s relationship with the E.U. and seek closer ties with Russia, and sees herself and U.S. President Donald Trump as part of a global antiestablishment movement. A Feb. 1 poll by Elabe has her leading the first round.


The so-called Gallic Bernie Sanders won the Socialist Party primary on Jan. 29 on an anticapitalist, antiglobalist platform. The radical left-winger wants to introduce a universal basic income and a tax on industrial robots, and reduce the workweek to 32 hours. But he might pay the price of the deeply unpopular rule of outgoing Socialist President François Hollande.


The pro-E.U. politician was once Hollande’s protégé and is running as an independent under his own organization, En Marche! (On the Move!). Hamon’s candidacy, which has divided Socialists, has allowed Macron to stake out the center ground, and the Elabe poll predicts he will beat Le Pen in the runoff. But he has yet to set out detailed policies.

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