Just to let everyone know that I’ve arrived safely in France, in advance of the first round of the presidential election to be held this Sunday. (Nice to be able to travel again.) Look forward to my preview of the vote on Sunday evening, eastern Australian time, and my report of the results some time on Monday.
As we saw yesterday, the Hungarian election showed that sympathy for Vladimir Putin is not necessarily the electoral poison that one might have intuitively supposed. On Sunday, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is hoping to capitalise on that – to the extent not just of booking a place in the runoff (which is a near certainty) but of doing so with a strong enough vote to have a chance of beating incumbent Emmanuel Macron.
Europe has more or less gotten used to Viktor Orbán, but the prospect of a neo-fascist president in France would be a political earthquake. We live in disturbing times. Stay tuned!