Presidential elections

Is this the end of Marine Le Pen?

Today’s election in France is likely to be a joyless, miserable affair for the electors who will dutifully turn out. The outcome is preordained. French voters who supported the re-election of Emmanuel Macron are unlikely to exhibit much enthusiasm when he wins tonight. If there are fireworks in the streets this evening, they’ll probably be aimed at the police. Those who voted for Marine Le Pen will have equally little to celebrate. They may avert the humiliation of the 66-34 per cent defeat in 2017. But this will be the third successive defeat for Mme Le Pen, following five failed runs by her papa, Jean-Marie Le Pen. This hereditary candidacy

Marine Le Pen may reshape Europe – even if she loses

It has been a truism since the nineteenth century that international affairs do not decide French elections. Yet last week, only three days into the run-off campaign, Marine Le Pen gave a press conference setting out her foreign and defence policy vision. At heart, it’s a classic Gaullist project. Even if she loses, it could seriously influence French policy, because much will depend on the size of Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary majority and the strength of radical left and right groupings come the June legislative elections. Le Pen’s international project draws a clear line between her nation-state based realpolitik – in the ascendant in France and elsewhere – and waning globalist

France’s silent majority has rejected Macron – and Le Pen

I popped down to the Salle du Peuple on Sunday to see how the voting was going in the departmental and regional elections. Although I’m no longer a municipal councillor – à cause de Brexit – and am no longer required to help invigilate the polling, I thought I’d take the temperature. Which was frosty. The French have a reputation for strong participation in elections, but not this time. By the time the votes were tallied, the winner was clear. Abstention won by a landslide. Two-thirds of my commune’s voters stayed at home, reflecting the national turnout. It was the lowest participation in at least 25 years and a vivid illustration of