To hear the same media that knew both Trump and Brexit would fail, Marine le Pen has next to no chance against her child-like opponent in the upcoming French presidential runoff election. She is, after all, “far-right,” whereas a kid who looks like Justin Trudeau’s baby brother (and who married a woman old enough to be his mother, and was his teacher when he met her as a teenager) is a “centrist.”
France’s presidential candidates battled for the popular vote on Thursday with far-right Marine Le Pen wooing fishermen and Emmanuel Macron playing soccer as polls showed the centrist’s commanding lead narrow marginally. As runner-up in last Sunday’s opening ballot, Le Pen remains the underdog, but two polls suggested she had made a more impressive start to the last lap of campaigning than Macron.
A daily Opinionway poll saw Macron’s predicted score dipping to 59 percent for the first time since mid-March. An Elabe survey showed one out of two people considered Le Pen’s last-leg campaign had begun well, while only 43 percent said the same of Macron’s.
Dressed in fishermen’s yellow oilskins, Le Pen, 48, grappled with a freshly caught octopus on a fishing boat out at sea. She told reporters on the quayside she would defend seafarers and all endangered sectors against invasive EU regulations. “Let me warn you, that man (Macron) will destroy our entire social and economic structure,” she told a horde of journalists at Le Grau du Roi, a port west of Marseille.
Macron, a 39-year-old who did a stint as economy minister in the outgoing Socialist government before breaking away to launch his own political movement, mocked her photo opportunity. “Madame Le Pen has gone fishing. Enjoy the outing. The exit from Europe that she is proposing will spell the end of French fisheries,” he tweeted.
As was the Trump-Clinton election in the U.S., this is a critical choice for France. Macon, a Leftist stalking horse with a neglible background — he’s the French Obama — can count on all the major political parties ganging up on le Pen to prevent her from winning. And she may lose — the system is stacked against her. But if she does, say au revoir to the France we once all knew and loved. We’ll miss it when it’s gone.