The 2017 French presidential election cycle has been as wild of a ride as the 2016 U.S. counter-part. The French elections are held in a different method than the way we conduct them in the U.S. France has a first election comparable to the primaries and caucuses held before the U.S. general election. After the general election there is a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes from the general election.
This year’s election, like the U.S., has featured centrist globalist candidates against a radical right candidate who has piggybacked off of Trump’s “America First” campaign theme with her own of a similar vein “France First.” The candidate who has emulated Trumps anti-immigration rhetoric in migrant plagued France, Marine Le Pen of the National Front party that her father founded, is striking a cord with disaffected French citizens who have felt and scene the horror of the massive crisis in Europe. The second and third place candidates are Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche party, a liberal party, and François Fillon of The Republicans, a center right party.
The current president, Francois Hollande, said Monday that it was his “ultimate duty” to prevent a Le Pen victory, not unlike former U.S. president Obama’s crusade against Trump. A Le Pen victory just might be the nail in the coffin of the European Union (EU), and by default the Euro currency. Le Pen has launched her Nation Front party into limelight in France due to unrest surrounding migrants and Islamic terror attacks that have been executed in France in the last few years. She is staunchly anti-migrant and also has promised to hold a referendum on leaving the EU. Together, these two campaign promises have created a powerful draw for French citizens who have lived under nearly a decade of austerity imposed by the EU Troika. Following in Trump’s footsteps, Le Pen has openly criticized EU policy and has taken a radical stance against most of the current president’s ideas.
Come April 23 the French people will have two candidates to choose from, with the final run-off election being held on May 7. It remains to be seen whether or not Le Pen will be able to pull off a Trump esqe victory over the centrist, and status quo candidates. Le Pen is currently polling in first place, but anything can happen in the month and a half remaining.