So the old guard in French politics have been booted in to the long grass – The run-off between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Marcon has been interpreted by the markets as a ‘slam-dunk’ for ‘En Marche’, which is really a watered down edition of the failed ‘Hollande’ government. The only really visible difference is that this party is now headed by a ‘matinee idol’ leader with establishment and banking credentials – suave in his presentation, with enormous appeal to the young. Of course he is passionate about expanding France’s role in the EU and is no friend of the UK. He makes no secret of the fact that he intends to persuade the banking community to leave London and set down their stalls in Paris post BREXIT. I suspect that he will have limited success.
As for Mme Le Pen; according to those who know about these things, she will be destroyed at the polls. France is an extremely conservative country with a small ‘c’ and its dislike of change knows no bounds. The Front Nationale’s ticket is unabashedly an immigration and anti-EU ticket. I don’t think she will win, but whilst France fails to get a grip on immigration and security issues, Le Pen will grow in popularity and stature. Anyone who thinks that Macron is a serious reformer, desperate for change deludes themselves. He is just very easy on the eye with a modern ‘Clark Gable’ appeal!
The Euro has rallied – so has sterling! The FTSE is set to open up +45 points, the DAX 190 points and the CAC +100 points. Enjoy the euphoria. It may be short-lived.