Winner will ignore Le Pen voters at his peril | Simon Heffer

At the time of writing – and perhaps even at the time of your reading this column – François Fillon remains a candidate in the race to become the next French president. 

The inquiry into whether he actually did anything illegal in paying his wife and two of his children out of state funds for doing nothing has not yet brought him down, but it would be a brave man or woman who would say that it won’t. The man who appeared, in January, to have the presidency sewn up now struggles in the polls behind Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron.

The fat lady has not, after all, yet sung.

Meanwhile, Macron, risen from nowhere and sustained so far purely in the way that one-hit wonder rock stars are – by the hysteria of a small group of fans who make an amount of noise far exceeding their numbers or the abilities of the performer in question – starts to outline his policies. Suggesting, at the outset of this process, that France’s history ...

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