Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Le Pen gains support after Paris attack but Macron still seen winning

Le Pen gains support after Paris attack but Macron still seen winning

US presidents typically avoid weighing in on specific candidates running in overseas election.

Yamamoto said his baseline scenario is for French centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen to make it past the first round in a close vote.

He added: "I've heard Madame Le Pen saying again recently that with her in charge, certain attacks would have been avoided".

"The politics of separation is the greatest risk for the euro", said Lena Komileva, managing director at G+ Economics.

Will French voters be forced to choose between two presidential candidates that are hostile to the euro and free trade?

Macron, a former economy minister who has little security experience, adopted a more measured tone than Le Pen and Fillon in Thursday's debate, cautioning France would have to live with terrorism for many years to come. The election is expected to be decided in a May 7 run-off.

The outcome could also have a bearing on France's place in Europe and the world.

During her campaign, Le Pen has promised to seek revised terms for France's European Union membership, and then ask in a referendum if voters want to leave. The two top vote-getters on Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. In a nation that has seen almost 240 people killed by ISIS-related terror attacks, her message has resonated, and she has held steady support from approximately one-quarter of the country. "It's us or them", he said. The Islamic State took responsibility for the attack. There have also been attacks on a Jewish school, a satirical weekly and a kosher market.

That's the conclusion drawn by Charles Gave, founder of Hong-Kong based asset-allocation consultancy GaveKal Research, who predicted the triumph of Donald Trump in the USA election, and is now betting on a win for the anti-euro National Front candidate.

Le Pen gains support after Paris attack but Macron still seen winning
Le Pen gains support after Paris attack but Macron still seen winning

France's presidential candidates stressed their commitment to fight terrorism after the killing of a policeman on the Champs-Elysees in Paris threatened to shift voter sentiment in the final stages of the cliffhanger race.

She wants to tighten French borders controls and build more jails, and says authorities are not doing enough to protect citizens from militant attacks, which have killed more than 230 people in France since January 2015.

The possibility of military action, as well as dovish comments from US President Donald Trump, have caused bets of further monetary policy tightening from the Federal Reserve to drop as well.

Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve stepped into the campaign, accusing both Le Pen and Fillon of exploiting the Paris shooting.

"It is up to us not to give in to fear, intimidation, manipulation, and division".

Le Pen "is revealing her true objective - as she does after every tragedy, the National Front candidate tries to take advantage, to manipulate and to divide", Cazeneuve said in a televised statement.

Emmanuel Macron, who is running under the independent banner En Marche!, has a narrow lead in the polls with 23 per cent. "There's no such thing as zero risk. Anyone who pretends (otherwise) is both irresponsible and deceitful", he told RTL Radio Friday.

Le selfie? How gauche: Jean-Luc Melenchon poses with a fan.

Still, Hense puts only a 10 percent chance of either Le Pen or Melenchon becoming president.

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