Fillon has a good working relationship with Russia's Putin, financier of M. Le Pen's little club of family members - Grandpa, Mamie and now the Le Pen granddaughter. The FN is not so much a political party as a tribal family with cronies, like the Bush and Clinton dynasties, which have been disavowed.
Fillon's knowledge of Russia will please would-be Le Pen voters, and take votes away from her. Yes, Le Pen is more radical than Trump and that defunct party UKIP. Le Pen wants Frexit plus out of the euro and into France's old currency the French Franc, so that France can devalue, instead of proper reforms.
She'd literally bankrupt France, given the opportunity to preside. Also, anyone who is not white, with both a real French mother and father can stay out of France, thank you.
She's a dangerous woman with one ambition - to see the end of the right and centre right parties in France. So long as they are represented by the likes of Fillon, she has no chance. The French voter is not stupid.
Kestrell left this comment at FT.com
Of Le Pen and Fillon, to me it seems that Mr. Fillon appears the real “anti-establishment” candidate. Both hold comparable views on immigration and French identity (more of a problem for Le Pen than Fillon), so the battleground will likely shift to economics.
Fillon’s economic vision is so out of sync with French norms that were he to pursue his agenda to de-regulate and liberalise the sclerotic French economy – it would be revolutionary. Conversely, Le Pen’s programme looks like an extension of the economic status quo defended by both the modern French “left” and “right”; regulation, protectionism, corporatism, Statism.
As it is organised currently, the French economy exists between a state of paralysis and slow decline (felt most acutely by the educated youth and lower income families). A Le Pen presidency would be an economic disaster, exacerbating the worst aspects of French economic and political governance and cutting France off to the markets that sustain her. Fillon is by no means a safe pair of hands, but he is offering a genuinely reformist agenda free from the scapegoating that betrays the Le Pens’ economic illiteracy.
Nevertheless, for all their dislike of Le Pen, I would not be surprised if many French left-wingers and voted for her to counter Fillon’s apparent economic radicalism. I also do not think that either the votes left or socially liberal voters can be counted upon to bring Fillon to power if the presidential run-off was between Le Pen and Fillon. He is deeply disliked on the Left, and when presented with the choice between Le Pen and Fillon - many may just stay home.
This kind of short-sighted political apathy has already helped bring the likes of Kaczynski and Trump to power.
Rabiusa left this comment at FT.com
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