The final phase of election for President of France comes to a close on May 7th. After the first round of voting, voters are left to choose between Marine Le Pen (hard right) and Emmanuel Macron (Centre). We know that Marine Le Pen stands for France leaving the EU, which would be particularly problematic given France was a founding member of the EU.
The issue of leaving the Euro currency would be complex. In our opinion this is the last of the key elections in Europe this year given that there seems to be high quality candidates from both sides in the German elections later this year. The financial markets were relieved to see the final two candidates of Macron and Le Pen, as it was earlier feared the 'Hard Left' may get through to the final round against the 'Hard Right'. The French share market rose by over 4% the day following the election result.
That said, the final election result is still yet to be decided, so we thought it timely to bring you the latest thinking in this important election. The first round voting was close but Macron was the ultimate winner securing 24% of the vote, with Le Pen in second place.
There are some similarities to the Trump election in the composition of voting, where Le Pen is appealing to the 'rust belt' in France, gaining support from those negatively impacted by globalisation.
Finally, we finish on the voting intentions of French voters for the Final Round and note that unlike the US election and Brexit, the French polls have been very accurate. The polls currently suggest a comfortable victory for Macron - but we are likely to be more comfortable once the final result is known.