Today marks the halfway point between the first and final second rounds of the French Presidential election. There has been no movement in the opinion polls at all since the result of the first round became known one week ago: the polls are still showing Macron with a 20% lead in the straight fight between the two candidates. In my view, a lot of pundits are carelessly and thoughtlessly over-anticipating a potential Le Pen victory: I was wrong about Trump, but I will stick my neck out and say today, she will be soundly beaten by Macron. Polling was showing Trump close to and gaining on Clinton during the final few days of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, compared to the 20% gap we see here in the French polls. More importantly, there is no momentum in favor of Le Pen.
This is obviously why Le Pen has made a couple of changes this weekend that smack of desperation, as she tries to spark some momentum. Firstly, in return for promising to try to appoint him as her Prime Minister, she received the endorsement of Nicolas Dupont-Aignon. As far as endorsements from French political leaders go, that’s about it!
It was yesterday’s announcement, though, that was most dramatic: after signaling that she would seek an exit from the Euro common currency, she appeared to row back on that commitment, before flipping again within the past few hours! A short while ago she said “We will have a national currency like all other countries, and we will have a common currency together,” she explained that euro should become the currency that will be used by “only large companies that trade internationally.” This does not make much sense, and in any case, such a muddle is likely to not cause any dramatic weekend movement in the value of the EUR/USD currency pair that would be visible when the market opens in Asia at the start of this week.
To provide some perspective, bookmakers were offering odds of about 5 to 1 on Trump winning the Presidential election just before the polls opened. Most bookmakers are now offering odds greater than 8 to 1 on Le Pen winning next Sunday 7th May.