Macron faces test of character as Le Pen’s popularity grows

World

Macron faces test of character as Le Pen’s popularity grows

A far-right victory in the EU’s second-biggest economy would have huge consequences

Victor Mallet

It would be a political earthquake as disruptive as the UK referendum vote for Brexit in 2016 and the election of Donald Trump as US president later that year.

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s extreme right Rassemblement National party, is doing so well in the polls that she threatens to foil Emmanuel Macron’s re-election bid and could win next year’s presidential vote to become the country’s first far-right leader since World War 2.

Only last week, she likened herself to British prime minister Boris Johnson and the UK’s Brexiters — and by implication, Trump — as a politician who could triumph with the support of all kinds of voters. “There’s no more split between left and right, there’s a split between the globalists and the nationalists,” she said...

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