Last week former president Nicolas Sarkozy was unexpectedly knocked out of the Republican primary.
Today French Voters Pick Centre-Right Presidential Candidate whose winner will likely face Marine le Pen in round two of the elections next year.
French voters headed to the polls on Sunday in a primary run-off contest predicted to give François Fillon the centre-right nomination and a good chance of becoming president of France next year.
Mr Fillon, the former prime minister who unexpectedly surged to pole position with 44 per cent of the votes in a first round last Sunday, is facing Alain Juppé, the longstanding favourite who has come second with 28 per cent.
Estimates suggested turnout is higher in today’s run-off than in the first round, with 2.93m casting their votes by 5pm, up from 2.81m at the same point last week.
Whoever wins the nomination for the centre-right will be well placed to win the 2017 presidential election. Surveys suggest that François Hollande, the deeply unpopular socialist president who is expected to declare his candidacy next month, would fail to qualify for the second round of the run-off in May. Mr Fillon would face Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader, in the second round and be favourite to defeat her.
On Wednesday, the betting odds on Bovada looked like this.
If, one believed that the race would come down to Fillon vs. Le Pen, there was a play to guarantee a win.
The largest bet Bovada would accept on any candidate was a measly $37.50, which I find absurd. Anyway, I booked the above bet. If Fillon is knocked out today I can still win if le Pen wins next year.
Otherwise my $50 total bet will return $51.43 if Fillon wins and $60.00 if le Pen wins.
One could have gotten nice odds on Fillon before round one in the primaries.
There is a chance some other candidate than le Pen squares off against the winner of the Republican primary but that seems unlikely at the moment.
Will Hollande Run?
The socialists still have their primary coming up. Hollande has not decided if he will run. The announced candidates are former economic minister Arnaud Montebourg, Marie-Noëlle Lienemann, and Benoît Hamon. Incumbent prime minister Manuel Valls may also throw his hat into the ring.
French Presidential Election Roundup
Emmanuel Macron, who recently resigned as Hollande’s Minister of Economy will represent a new part he started “En Marche!”.
There are other minor parties including the Greens, Democratic movement, and Left Party (Parti de Gauche), none of which has a chance, but all will get on the ballot for Round One of the election.
Assuming no candidate gets 50% of the vote in round one of the election, the top two candidates will square off.
At the moment that would appear to be le Pen and Fillon. If Alain Juppé wins today the most likely outcome would be le Pen and Juppé.
Fillon is a strong free market advocate who seeks to shrink government. Fillon also wants better relations with Russia. Le Pen is anti-immigration, anti-EU, and anti-euro.
Should Fillon win today, the socialists will have a difficult choice.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock