Fifth republic

Even if he wins Macron could be facing disaster

Unaccustomed as political scientists are to florid language, they have nevertheless come up with the ‘theory of the dyke’, to explain the continuing success of the nationalist and identitarian Rassemblement National. A dyke can hold back the flood for so long, but once water has overflowed there is no getting it back. When in 2002 Marine Le Pen’s father, against all odds, beat the socialists to go through to the presidential run-off against Jacques Chirac, there was no reversing the flow. Marine Le Pen’s score of 23.1 per cent in the first round of the election this week is the highest in the nationalist right’s 50-year history. Now we are