A Revolutionary Race in France

By Philippe Le Corre

Philippe Le Corre is a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. His research focuses on France and the future of Europe, as well as China's foreign policy. His is also a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Science and a senior adviser to Sciences Po Executive Education. He has written multiple books and contributed to a number of publications, and he writes a column for one of France's top daily newspapers, Ouest France. Between 2004 and 2007, Le Corre served with France's Ministry of Defense. He received a bachelor's in international law and a master's in political science from the Paris I Sorbonne University. He is also the recipient of a certificate in Asian studies from the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales.

Round one of the French presidential elections, on April 23, looks as if it’s going to set up a battle of non-traditional parties. Polls predict Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate who recently created his own party, versus Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front party. Now, some polls are showing far left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and even the traditional conservative Francois Fillon gaining a bit of ground. By the end of the first round, though, traditional socialist candidate Benoit Hamon may be out, but Fillon could stage  a comeback. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder asked Philippe Le Corre, a visiting fellow from France at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe, how U.S-French relations could develop under the various candidates.

The Cipher Brief: How do you think round one of France’s presidential elections is going to play out? What if neither traditional party candidate makes it to the second round? By that I mean, how will traditional voters vote? Will they choose either, for example, Le Pen or Macron? Or will they decide to not vote at all?

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