With Francois Fillon limping on, is centrist Emmanuel Macron going to be the next French President?

Emmanuel Macron Visits Berlin
The young Macron has been very lucky in his opponents so far (Source: Getty)

Famke Krumbmüller, partner at OpenCitiz, the political risk consultancy, says Yes.

Once he qualifies for the second round, Emmanuel Macron will win it against Marine Le Pen. The ex-Rothschild banker is able to attract votes from across the political spectrum and is hence best placed among all candidates to beat the far-right (with 61 per cent).

The main hurdle Macron needs to take is the first round, but he is extremely well positioned for three reasons: first, he has managed to create momentum, and the polls reflect it: he has surged to 24.5 per cent from 16 per cent.

Second, he benefits from his main opponent’s, the Republican candidate Francois Fillon, loss of support (from 30 per cent to 20 per cent), which is likely to continue as he will be placed under formal investigation for the alleged fictitious employment of some family members.

Finally, Macron will be able to collect votes on the centre-right, given Fillon’s social conservatism, as well as on the centre-left – from the social-democrat wing of the Socialist Party – given that candidate Benoit Hamon is from its left-wing, anti-government faction.

Naomi Firsht, staff writer at Spiked and co-author of The Parisians’ Guide to Cafés, Bars and Restaurants, says No.

If the polls are to be believed, Emmanuel Macron could well be in with a chance of becoming the next President of France. Many think he is the best option for keeping Front National Marine Le Pen out of the Elysée.

But while his exuberance attracts the young, metropolitan set, there are many he is not reaching. As a centrist candidate he risks being not enough to the left or right to tempt traditional voters. And it is unlikely that French people will ignore his political inexperience once at the ballot box.

Besides, much of Macron’s rise can be put down to pure luck, in what is turning out to be one of the most volatile elections in modern French history. The unexpected incidents of Francois Fillon’s scandal and Benoit Hamon winning the left primary have played in his favour. But in a constantly changing political climate, some new surprise may be thrown up, and Macron may find that his luck has run out.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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