Forward!

The votes are in and Emmanuel Macron has won the first round of the French Presidential election, pushing Le Pen into second place. This is good for a number of reasons, not least of which is that Le Pen has been pushed into second place. Hopefully, this means that far-right populism has hit its limit and it will be downhill for the FN from here on in.

Secondly, Macron is clearly the sanest choice standing. He is unambiguously pro-EU and committed to reforming it and is looking for practical and realistic reforms that would actually make a difference. This stands in stark contrast to the “make demands, throw tantrum” approach being touted by both the far right and the far left.

And, of course, being a centrist allows him to draw support from both the centre-left and the centre-right in the second round of voting on May 7th. Indeed, both François Fillon and Benoît Hamon have already urged their supporters to vote against the far right.

Of course, all of this means that Theresa May’s hard Brexit becomes both more likely and more painful.

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