Wikileaks’s founder Julian Assange claims he will “throw oil on the fire of the presidential campaign in France“.

The claim in in reference to Emmanuel Macron, a leading French presidential candidate, and head of the En Marche! political party.

The information is from Clinton Emails.

Via Mish-modified translation from RT in French: WikiLeaks Found Information on Macron in Emails of Clinton.

The founder of the site WikiLeaks Julian Assange told the Russian newspaper Izvestia that emails of Hillary Clinton also contained information on the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

“Assange will throw oil on the fire of the presidential campaign in France” according to Izvestia, one of the oldest Russian newspapers.

“We have interesting information about one of the candidates for the French presidency – Emmanuel Macron,” has said Assange to Izvestia . “This data comes from the personal correspondence of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” he said, welcoming that everyone was excited about the latest publications on the The French presidential election.

Does He or Doesn’t He?

As is typical of Assange, he released a preliminary teaser with no relevant facts. Past promises of big news have generally, but not always been true. Thus, experience suggests that Assange likely has something on Macron.

Misuse of Public Money – PenelopeGate

On January 25, I reported French Prosecutor Investigates Leading French Candidate Fillon for Paying his Wife €500,000 from MP Funds.

In what is now dubbed as “PenelopeGate”, Fillon is accused of paying his wife  Penelope €500,000 in public money over a 10-year for work not performed. The charges are serious because of the amount in euros, the length of time, and Fillon’s claims of innocence when it’s obvious he is lying.

Le Pen is charged with paying her National Front staff €300,000 out of EU funds. She denies the misuse charges. Meanwhile, her salary has been docked. The charges against le Pen are minor in comparison to Fillon, and it has not affected her polls.

French Polls Since PenelopeGate

french-polls-2017-02-06

The above from 2017 French Presidential Election Polls.

Support for Fillon has collapsed while support for Hamon has soared.

The surge for Hamon is also understated. He scored nothing in two of three polls ending January 20. I generously assigned Hamon a January 20 reading of 8.0% on the basis of one poll (not shown in the above image).

Final Round Possibilities

  1. Le Pen – Macron
  2. Le Pen – Hamon
  3. Le Pen – Fillon
  4. Macron – Hamon
  5. Macron – Fillon
  6. Hamon – Fillon
  7. Other

Any of the above are possible, even “other”. Fillon may step down with Alain Juppé or Nicolas Sarkozy taking his place.

The most likely pairings are 1, 2, and 3.

Mélenchon Alliance Possibilities

Mélenchon has no chance of making the final round, so who might he support after he drops out?

Looking into the policies of Jean-Luc Mélenchon we find these interesting facts.

During the protest movement against the pension reform of 2010 his public stature grew thanks to his many public and television appearances. He was also the candidate of that coalition in the 2012 presidential election, at the outcome of which he came in fourth, receiving 11.1% of the votes. He is a candidate to the 2017 presidential election “outside the frame of political parties”, and founded the movement “Unsubmissive France” (LFI) in February 2016.

Previously a defender of European federalism, Mélenchon has renounced that political commitment, declaring that “the European Union is no longer a solution but a problem, because economic liberalism has totally corrupted the institution and makes it impossible to achieve the democratic change needed in the EU, all power belonging to technocrats with no popular legitimacy“. For this reason, he is for the establishment of a different, democratic, united, and cooperative Europe, and is opposed to the Lisbon Treaty as well as questioning the independence of the European Central Bank.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2013 in Toulouse.

Based on his experiences in South America, Mélenchon favors “The Citizens’ Revolution” (révolution citoyenne), drawing additionally on ideas stemming from the French Revolution and the Paris Commune, and a new strategy that respects the democratic process while seeking to win elections in order to change the constitution. This “citizens’ revolution” should lead to a reversal of the current division of wealth held by capital, represented by shareholders, and the working class (understood in the broad sense of anyone who actually works to earn money directly). Additional goals include a new constitution that will initiate a 6th French Republic in which the president will have less power and Parliament more, increase wages, a public bank created by nationalizing the private banks, democratization through the establishment of new rights for employees allowing them to develop cooperatives, the nationalization of large corporations, environmental planning, an exit from NATO, an end to the war in Afghanistan, and peace in the Middle East through the creation of a Palestinian state. Jean‑Luc Mélenchon also insists on the importance of “popular involvement” through public referendums on any essential subject. He expressed his support for the secularization of the French society and for the legality of same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

Might Mélenchon Support Le Pen?

Mélenchon and his supporters are going to face a choice given that Mélenchon will not make to the final round.

In regards to the EU, NATO, and the Lisbon treaty, Mélenchon and Le Pen seem like a natural pair. However, Mélenchon does not support le Pen’s immigration stance.

Yet, I see little chance Mélenchon could endorse Macron or Fillon. Hamon?

Until we have the final pairings, Mélenchon remains a wild-card. He could also drop out soon, giving a boost to Hamon.

More likely, Mélenchon stays in, then endorses Le Pen (or no one) if the final match-up is le Pen vs. Macron.

Le Pen vs. Macron or Fillon

I believe le Pen would beat Fillon at this juncture. And it is not a given that le Pen would lose to Macron with his “neither left nor right” platform.

One reason Macron is popular now is that he has not said much of anything, while promising to those left and right that he and he alone can make things better.

For all the ridiculous talk of labeling le Pen “far right”, she is far more left of Macron on some issues. And le Pen has a careful strategy. Like Trump, le Pen places blame on outsiders. That message will likely resonate with over half of the voters. And recent polls suggest her anti-EU is also on track.

le Pen has also softened her stance on some issues such as the death penalty. Why take a strong stance on such issues when it can only hurt you?

Polls now show that voters prefer nearly anyone to le Pen in a final pairing. I strongly question such polls.

Let’s see what happens after candidates have to take positions on more issues, and we have a final pairing. Meanwhile, things may be looking up for Macron, but we have not yet heard from Wikileaks.

Wikileaks or not, le Pen’s chances are far larger than most suspect.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock