Situation two months before the French presidential elections on April 23
- François Fillon, the surprising clear winner of the conservative primaries, was unsettled by a scandal over payments to his wife („Penelopegate“)
- Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old trained investment banker and former economy minister running as an independent „neither right nor left“ candidate, has become the new favorite for the second round. However, long-term observers do not count out a Fillon comeback despite his handicap, due to the pull of the traditional left-right ideological spectrum.
- Marine Le Pen, the populist, right-wing candidate of the Front National, is leading in the polls for the first round, but it seems unlikely that she could profit from the general „anti-establishment“ mood.
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