A brief guide to the French election


Having written about the March 2017 Dutch election for the Legatum Institute, Matthew Elliott has now turned his attention to the French Presidential and National Assembly elections taking place over the coming weeks. He focuses particularly on the rise of populism – across the political spectrum in France – and examines the parallels with Brexit in the UK.

The report also includes polling analysis by James Kanagasooriam and Claudia Chwalisz, Head of Analytics and a Consultant at Populus, examining how an “enthusiasm gap” makes the result of the first round of voting on Sunday 23 April much closer than polls are suggesting. And following the terrorist attack in Paris on the eve of the election, with the tragic loss of a police officer, the race for the presidential run-off has been rendered even more unpredictable.

The report includes five key findings: Populism is winning across the political spectrum in France;  Macron is favourite to win, but it’s not in the bag; If Macron is knocked out, Le Pen has a credible path to victory; This election might be a staging post for a Le Pen victory in 2022 and There will be big implications for Brexit whoever is elected.

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