A goat would beat Le Pen in France’s presidential election, political analyst says


Those concerned that far-right leader Marine Le Pen will become France's next president might be worrying too much, according to one political analyst.

Thomas Guénolé from the Paris-based institute Sciences Po told CNBC Thursday: "I want to be perfectly clear for foreigners and for investors in particular, a goat, literally a goat, at the second round against Marine Le Pen, the goat is elected."

Guénolé added that there are many French voters who are "allergic" to the far right and would unite in the second round of the election to prevent Le Pen from winning. Le Pen is currently ahead in projections for the first round scheduled for April 23. But she is seen losing the second round to the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron.

"Basically the ideology of Mr Macron is opportunism," Guénolé said. "He waited as long as possible before telling us what his platform is."

Macron is due to outline his manifesto Thursday morning. This comes after French authorities decided to formally investigate the conservative candidate Francois Fillon for misusing public funds. Fillon who, until the scandal emerged, was well-placed to become the next president, announced Wednesday he is not stepping out of the race, despite previously saying he would if formal investigations were pursued.

A goat would win against Le Pen: Political scientist

According to Guénolé, Macron has more to win from Fillon's downfall than Le Pen. "I don't think Marine Le Pen will benefit from this because in fact those who are right-wing voters and think Marine Le Pen is better already want to vote for Marine Le Pen. So I don't think she's going to win extra voters, but Emmanuel Macron can be an alternative for those who are right-wing voters and do not want to become far-right voters," he said.

Meanwhile, the far-right party Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, is being investigated for misusing European funds. However, not everyone seems to think that these scandals will benefit any of the candidates.

No-one benefits politically from Fillon scandal: Spokesperson

Laura Slimani, spokesperson for the socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, told CNBC on Thursday that Fillon's scandal "puts a lot of discredit on politics." The socialist spokesperson said that all candidates to the presidential seat should disclose who's funding their campaigns, as sentiment surrounding corruption seems to grow.

"Who is today financing the campaign of Emmanuel Macron?," Slimani said.

"We know he is supported by big names in finance, in the business industry, so we want to know who is financing his campaign because this will have an impact on what kind of policies he will lead afterwards, at least it will have an impact on whether he will be a free president, if elected," she added.

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist and independent runner in the election, is a former investment banker and former economy minister in the socialist government. According to the latest polls, Macron is well placed to become the next president, with the campaign of the right-wing candidate suffering a major setback.

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