Could ‘President Blanca’ emerge from the French elections?

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

If “President Blanca” were to enter the presidential race — ahead of his planned August candidacy — it could be politically suicidal for French voters to elect him.

From being called both racist and dangerous to receiving death threats from those furious about his earlier comments about the head of the Gilet jaune’s party, this hard-right candidate has shaken up a French political landscape already brimming with potential challengers.

But should this far-right figurehead actually launch his bid for the Elysee, the suspense of it all could prove compelling for the nightly round-up of news broadcasts and the social media echo chambers that thrive on such developments.

How France’s far-right plays out

This June, in the latest chapter of the “playbook” for how French political outsiders can gain political momentum, the “French Donald Trump” appeared to seal a deal with France’s far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, to run in the first round of the French presidential election.

In the call, which was aimed at finding ways to push ahead with the far-right’s presidential ambitions, the two leaders spent about a minute discussing the presidential race, a source close to Le Pen told CNN in a recent interview.

On Sunday, Macron said that he wasn’t planning on joining the Presidential race, and that he will not support Le Pen in that election.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that a fragmented French political landscape could open doors to new candidates — be they from the left or the right — with little or no support among the three major political parties.

For the Europhile Macron, the assumption by mainstream politicians that he could easily have beaten Le Pen and thus prevented a possible upset at the ballot box in May this year was widely flawed.

Le Pen is gearing up for a general election campaign in 2019. And should her party reach power, given the growing fragmentation of French politics, it will almost certainly demand a change of leadership, and its ideological conviction about how the world should look.

The outlier

With Marine Le Pen and for the moment the (part of) French political establishment figuring largely out how to react to the May shocker, the field in 2019 is anything but prepped.

In the first half of 2018, a vote was called by the left-wing party, France Unbowed, to choose a new leader.

Now, France Unbowed is debating its next steps after Macron’s decisive and popular victory in May.

A potential vote by France Unbowed’s young, new, virtual leadership candidate, Gilbert Collard, is slated for September.

History seems to suggest that’s as far as the party’s leadership in France will get.

Leave a Comment