In the chaos to come, President Macron is going to struggle
A lot of late money has been placed, over the last 18 hours, on a surprise win by Marine Le Pen in today’s Presidential election. This is largely because there are signs of a bigger than usual abstention rate – 56% of French voters don’t want either candidate – at perhaps around 30%. I still think that, even on those maths, the data we now have on how the two candidates have each garnered votes from the 1st Round losers show conclusively that Macron is going to win comfortably. But that said, Le Pen’s share of those who do vote could be much higher than expected, as her supporters show far more certainty of actually turning up.
Whoever wins, however, this has been an election replete with disturbing signs on many levels.
Neither major Party got into the 2nd Round – a damning condemnation of the French Establishment on its own. But the paucity of votes they received in total (just 27%) ought to send alarm bells ringing in Brussels, NATO and the State Department. It won’t of course, because the first lot are arrogant and the last two feel happy that “their guy” is going to take up residence in the Elysées.
That’s the most obvious and dangerous development of the lot: not just the ability of the monied geopolitical, security and banker classes to turn all media towards Macron – and away from Le Pen – but also the ease with which yet another electorate has fallen for vague feelgood bollocks from a blatantly neocon candidate. After the US election I was bewildered by the number of Democrat friends who could not grasp that Clinton was clearly the candidate of the Alternative State. The French are sharper than that, but yet again the role of the media can’t be ignored: just eight men run the media pack here, and none of them is really Left….let alone supportive of Le Pen.
This is before we even get to the practicalities (or perhaps I should say anarchy) that Macron will face once elected. Apart from the fact that he is a political lighweight, there is also the knotty problem of a PR-elected National Assembly that will come down like a ton of bricks on the first sign of the new President behaving to type. During the televised debate last week – despite the media predictably saying Macron ‘won’ – it seemed to me that Le Pen showed immense skill and experience in using specific examples from Macron’s past to highlight what he really is. But it would seem she comes with too much baggage, as a poll straight afterwards showed that 63% of viewers disagree with me.
Oddly enough, I find myself confident that a Macron win will do far more damage to France and the EU than anything Le Pen could manage. If she was elected and called a Frexit referendum, for instance, she would lose by a margin of 2:1. But a Macron victory will boost the overconfidence of the Eunatics, start a market rally that can’t be sustained, and take all eyes off the other balls in the air – notably Italy, Hungary and Austria. It will also focus the minds of the French trade unions and, the minute anything trop Anglo-Saxon is suggested, produce chaos across France.
Chuck Brexit into the middle of that, and there is no telling what might happen. Add several market collapses around the world (an outcome I still expect later this year) and Emmanuel Macron’s plans will probably suffer the same fate as the early aspirations of Nicola Sarkozy.
Most polling booths have just closed here. Bankerman is 18 pts ahead. The chances of an upset are close to zero. The die is almost cast.