After Marine Le Pen came in second in the French election, I stated to many that Emmanuel Macron does not have this cinched up like the ‘pundits’ expect and the match up could be closer than expected. Naturally, I was called every name in the book, including a fascist, because I wouldn’t follow the false narrative that the establishment guy is a true outsider and is a shoe in for the run off.
It’s not the first time I’ve been attacked for being objectively honest. In fact, even though I initially supported Jeb, then gave Marco a second look, before deciding on Trump, I predicted the outcome would be Trump vs. Hillary back in 2015. I tried to advise that Trump was most likely the person who would win. Alas, I was attacked by my own so called base.
I also advised people in 2011 to watch their messaging about Le Pen because what they were doing was only going to bolster her support. Again, I was attacked with the usual juvenile name calling and false accusations.
And, yet, here we are.
Yesterday, I pulled up a Twitter feed of an account I follow that reposted this glorious Time Magazine review from 2016 of an ‘extreme centrist’ named Emmanuel Macron (for the record, he’s not a centrist, let alone an extreme centrist – he’s firmly on the left of left). After reading the article last year, I came away with the impression of a manufactured candidate to distract from Hollande’s utter failures. I also identified 6 key talking points that Le Pen could use against him that could sink him in the head-to-head match up that was coming, but I’ll leave those out of this post.
Yes, I anticipated a run off between the two French candidates just like, in 2015, I anticipated the head-to-head between Hillary and Trump. After 6 years of beating my head against the French brick wall. and getting bashed from the politco know-it-alls all sides for my objectivity, I shut up on the unfolding of the French elections.
I re-read the article, looked at the base of each candidate that lost, then Tweeted a high level of the following:
- Fillon supporters will undoubtedly go to Macron but there will be people who despise Macron and will hold their noses and vote for Le Pen, or simply sit this one out. In other words, Macron can’t count on the full 20.01% migration to his ticket. How many Fillon supporters will break for Le Pen, or sit out, remains to be seen.
- What you need to watch is where Melenchon supporters will go. Macron is meeting with so called leaders but Le Pen is meeting with the actual voters. I suspect they will lean Le Pen. That means that the 19.58% of the vote Melenchon received is not a guarantee. In fact, it’s probably going to be much less.
- The votes for candidates under 10% are completely up for grabs.
Here’s what happened since that tweet:
- As expected, Fillon endorsed Macron shortly after Fillon’s loss.
- While Macron’s ego was holding run-off victory parties with his elitist benefactors who helped to manufacture his candidacy, Le Pen was reaching out to the people that matter most – the voters.
- While Macron was meeting with ‘leaders’, Le Pen met with workers who were about to lose their jobs.
- Melenchon has announced that he doesn’t support Le Pen but will not endorse Macron. He knows his base and knows he’s walking on a delicate tight-rope while he tries to keep his party’s 19.58% support. It’s also a clear indication that much of his 19.58% leans Le Pen, even though Melenchon may not.
- Even though Benoit Hamon has openly backed Macron from his countryside home, his 6.36% base may not follow that lead. His base feels betrayed by this endorsement and feels the Socialist party has abandoned them by giving them a choice between a banker and Le Pen. His 6.36% may sit it out or hold their noses for both Le Pen and Macron. Regardless, their votes will matter in this election.
- In an attempt to recover from rapidly diminishing poll numbers, Macron has been forced to meet with farmers and the working class of France. This is a key indicator that Hamon’s country side base is leaning Le Pen.
- Angela Merkel of Germany has openly endorsed Macron. Given the strong anti-EU and anti-Merkel sentiment running through the veins of many of the candidates supporters who didn’t make the top two, this may very well hurt Macron, not help him. Any doubts, take a look at this picture that I pulled from Twitter. You’ll notice all of the people that were once aligned with Merkel no longer hold office in their respective countries and their heir apparents have either LOST, or are in the process of losing, their respective elections.
As for where the support for remaining under 10% will go:
- Nicholas Dupont-Aignon endorsed Le Pen and Le Pen has selected him as her choice for Prime Minister, should she win. His 4.70% base undoubtedly leans Le Pen and he knows it.
- Jean Lassalle’s 1.21% base will be a tossup. They were the “Resistance” that failed. But they do not like bankers so that puts Macron at a disadvantage.
- Phillipe Poutou’s 1.09% base will most likely sit this one out as their leader calls for them to “resist” Le Pen’s National Front Party and Macron’s En Marche party. In fact, he blames Macron’s economic policies during his tenure in the French finance ministry, under Hollande’s mentorship, as the sole reason for the rise of the National Front. Instead of voting, he’s urging his supporters to take to the streets and fight both of them by protesting.
- Like Poutou, Francois Asselinau is calling for his 0.92% base to resist both Macron and Le Pen. He’s analysis that the LR (Fillon) and PS (Hammon) parties are interchangeable was affirmed by Hammon’s endorsement of Macron which does not bode well for the future of the Socialist Party in France. Considering that he also campaigned on existing the European Union, his base may very well vote Le Pen as opposed to sitting the run off out.
- Nathalie Arthaund has shown herself to be a fan of neither Macron nor Le Pen. Initially, she encouraged her 0.64% supporters to sit it out. However, as Le Pen continues to reach out to the under 10% base and gain ground with them, Nathalie may change her tune and pro-Macron postings on her social medial pages may pop up without an official endorsement.
- Who knows where Jacques Cheminade’s 0.18% will land. Some may take to the streets, others may sit it out, and the rest are completely unpredictable.
You can call me whatever name you want. Based on the results from a recent France 24 and Vox Pop Labs insta-poll, it appears that Marine Le Pen is closing the gap.
Even if she does not win, Le Pen has gained enough strength to remain a formidable force in France for years to come – like it or not.
And yes, this messenger put body armor on before posting this.