In a couple of days....it's over. The odds are heavily stacked that Macron will win (12-to-15 points over Le Pen is predicted). So, I turn to observations of the past twelve months.
1. Fillon. It's an amusing story. Back in the October to December period....Fillon was figured to be the last guy standing. He had a real resume.....had been around in public view for several decades...and had this promise of dismissing 500,000 civil service employees of the government.
Then it came out to suggest that his wife and later his kids....took up jobs but never did any real work. A fake pay situation. Prosecutors launched an investigation. We are four months into this and have yet to see any real charges.
My guess is that they went to the boss over the family members while employed and are having a problem in getting something substantial to suggest that they didn't attend meetings or produce anything. If you go and suggest in court that they didn't do real work.....they might pull out five witnesses who say that they handled work, and the case would fall apart very easily.
In a Fillon versus Le Pen election....the vast number of socialists or far-left voters....simply would have stayed home.
2. The two normal parties....center-left (Socialist Party) and center-right (Republicans) more or less failed to connect to the general public. Together, they took twenty-fiver percent of the vote in the primary (more or less). Go look around Europe, with the exception of Germany.....it's a trend that you see. People are flocking to new parties or extreme parties.
3. Le Pen. Four years ago, she started to remodel the National Front. She made it less extreme. She made this entire campaign about two central themes up until the last sixty days. The original two themes were safety/security and immigration control. In the last sixty days, she added an EU-referendum and talked up French culture. Beyond that, it was a very short platform. Jobs or help for the business sector? No. Le Pen was never the French Trump.
The odd feature of Le Pen's campaign? It attracted youth and gays. Statistics will be done after the 7 May election but I would take a guess that a quarter of the people who voted for Le Pen were under the age of twenty-five. Within the numbers, you will also notice that in urban areas....she did lousy and that tells part of the bigger story.
If Le Pen had written out some jobs and French business platform? This is one of the lessons learned. You can't find any real candidate from the eleven parties in the primary run....that really emphasized more jobs or better conditions for French companies. Anyone who would have picked this topic....probably would have gained another six to eight points.
4. Macron. A guy appears out of thin air.....develops his own political party, finds capital to run it, and ends up as the winner? Yes.
Macron is this odd character that has never run in an election in his life. If you did try to piece together his resume....it's a brief seven lines. His big success in life? He worked for the Rothschild banking empire for a couple of years. An empty suit? It's difficult to tell this story because there is so little to the whole epic story.
Once elected....he'll piece together his government, but with the legislative election within sixty days....it's very doubtful that his Progressive Party will have any real membership, and he will be utterly dependent on other parties to survive.
5. Absolute downward trend for Hollande. Five years ago....Hollande was talked about and emphasized by the news media....as the guy to fix France's problems. Five years later, he's best described as comic relief. His woman-problem is a legend now.
Hollande briefly discussed the idea of running again, and then dropped that whole suggestion. There are dozens of things over the past five years that he could have done better or improved upon....but he just never got to that level of competency.
So, it's done.
I'm guessing that Le Pen will settle back....look at lessons learned and prepare for 2022. Macron? He'll lead the nation for five years and be considered less-than-successful, and leave office in 2022. Security and safety will still be the top topic in 2022. And the center-right and center-left parties will still be stalled and without any public enthusiasm.