Juppé is More Likely to Beat Le Pen
Sir, Peter Westmacott (“In Fillon, Le Pen has an opponent to fear”, November 23) is too sanguine about the implications of the likely choice next Sunday of François Fillon as presidential candidate of the centre right French Republicans party, for the electoral prospects of Marine Le Pen, leader of the hard right National Front.
Mr Fillon’s chances of beating Ms Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election next May depend on his attracting a significant share of leftwing votes, as did Jacques Chirac against Ms Le Pen’s father in 2002. But Mr Fillon’s identification with the traditional Catholic right, his personal opposition to abortion and “marriage for all”, as well as his “ultraliberal” positions on globalisation and economic reform in France, make him anathema to the left. As in the US, many on the left would prefer to stay at home rather than vote for a politician whose views are antithetical to their own. His close association with former president Nicolas Sarkozy does not help.
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