CAN LE PEN REALLY WIN IT?
THIS week, bookmakers put the chances of Marine Le Pen winning the election at 33 per cent, a striking rise on the end-of-January estimate of 25 per cent.
The figures echo recent polls, which have Ms Le Pen reaching the second round but soundly beaten in the May 7 run-off against centrist Emmanuel Macron.
Of course, it no longer feels that simple. The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory left many pundits with their fingers burnt and warning that Ms Le Pen may pull off the same trick.
One French political insider still believes, however, that the NF remains too toxic for the electorate to put her in the Elysée Palace. Patrick Buisson, Nicolas Sarkozy’s former key adviser, has argued that the Le Pen brand – not her ideas – will ultimately put off voters.