Europe News

The French are good for a revolution: Analyst


The upcoming French presidential election gets investors more concerned by the day.

As the ballot approaches in late April, the outcome appears more unpredictable after the surprising Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump, one analyst told CNBC that France is the current big concern.

The center-right candidate Francois Fillon was until recently set to become the next president of France, based on opinion poll results. However, since allegations that he had misused public funds emerged – which he has rebuffed saying he has been a victim of "media lynching" – he has lost ground to the independent Emmanuel Macron.

"I am a little bit more worried about France, perhaps, what Fillon has done recently or what's come out has not been helpful, and the French are good for a revolution," Lothar Mentel, chief investment officer, at Tatton Investment Management told CNBC on Thursday.

The political landscape is as divided. An opinion poll released Thursday showed that Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate would win the first round with 24 percent of the votes, followed by Macron with 21 percent and Fillon in third place with 20 percent.

According to Mentel, given the many elections across Europe, the situation "needs to be watched," though overall he doesn't believe that voters will follow the populist route when heading to the polls.

"The election of Trump has perhaps created headwind for the populist because the Europeans are a bit shocked by what's coming out of the U.S. at the moment and I sense that they don't really want to follow down that route," Mentel told CNBC.

"Certainly those 10 to 15 percent who have always bought into that (populist rhetoric) think it's great but the rest, the swing voters who may have gone with the populist last year, I think aren't going with them anymore, particularly in Germany," he added.

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