The first round of the French presidential election will begin on Sunday and the first results will begin to filter through early on Monday. With two candidates’ manifestos calling into question France membership to the EU. Although highly unlikely if Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon were both to progress through to the second round, you could only envisage a huge sell off and the Euro FX rate would surely weaken further.
Currently, the main contender Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche party holds a narrow lead which has seen the EUR/USD gain rising of 0.065%, no doubt assisted by recent poor US data and potential conflict with North Korea.
Front Runners for the French Presidency
39-year-old Macron is the leader of the self-created ‘en marche’ movement. The conception of his self-styled party followed a role as Minister of economy for the Socialist party where he played deputy to the extremely unpopular Francoise Hollande. Pro Europe his manifesto includes a review of the current tax system, more promotion for entrepreneurism and a relaxation of labour laws.
He also has plans to pump billions of euros into public investment which would include job training, renewable energy and infrastructure.
Marine Le Penn
The 48-year-old leader of the National Front party whose manifesto is centred around controlled immigration has struggled with the party’s anti-Semitic past. Other parts of her manifesto include the promotion of the French cultural identity. Le Penn, if made president, will end mass immigration and ban dual nationality for non-Europeans. She also wants to hold a referendum on the EU and endorse more protectionism.
Leader and creator of the French Insoumise party, the 65-year-old, is the popular left wing candidate. His proposed polices include €90bn + tax and spending program. He plans to swap the current presidential system for a parliamentary set up. Melenchon also plans to remove France from NATO, and wishes to renegotiate terms with the European union or potentially leave.
Fillon, the candidate for the republican (centre-right) party, has clung on to contention despite a raft of controversy. Fillon had suffered following allegations involving his family which saw him criminally charged after his wife embezzled in excess €650,000 of state funds, creating several fake roles in French parliament. Since the revelations, Fillon’s popularity has significantly declined.
His key policies include the cutting of 500,000 public sector jobs to dramatically reduce public spending by more than €93bn. He also wants to create closer ties to Russia with the goal of eradicating ISIS. Fillon is also pro-EU and like Macron the front runner would be good for the European Union and the Euro in the short term.
What is the Best Candidate Outcome for the Euro?
If the current front runner Emmanuel Macron was to succeed in the first round of French presidential election it would no doubt provide the Euro with a further shot in the arm. Following the publication of the latest polls, EUR/USD appreciated at its fastest rate since March 30th. Macron, who leads opinion polls by 25%, closely followed by Le pen on 22% and Melenchon and Fillon trail on 19% each respectively.
French polls also anticipate the final race to be between Macron and Le Penn with Macron enjoying a victory of 66%. Although anyone with even a modest interest in politics or financial markets will naturally be wary of polls, especially given the last Presidential race!