The French Republican party will live or die with Francois Fillon.

Despite collapsing support in the wake of “Penelopegate”, Fillon refuses to stand down as promised. In response, Juppé Rules Out Replacing Fillon as French Presidential Candidate.

Curiously, Juppé now tops the French polls, but he cannot run having lost the primary to Fillon.

Alain Juppé has ruled out a French presidential bid, putting an end to speculation that he could have replaced François Fillon, his party’s embattled centre-right candidate.

The decision ends intense party maneuvering to try to persuade Mr. Juppé to salvage the Republicans’ presidential campaign, which has been battered by Mr. Fillon’s deepening legal woes and dwindling support among the right-wing electorate and senior party figures.

“I am not in a position to unify the party,” Mr. Juppé, the mayor of Bordeaux, said in the city on Monday, adding that centrists had “left us” and a “hard core of Republican sympathizers (had) become radicalized”.

“Therefore I confirm, once and for all, that I will not be a candidate for the presidency.”

Mr. Juppé gave a damning judgment about the Republicans’ chances, saying Mr. Fillon was “at a dead end”.

Mr. Fillon is expected to be placed under formal investigation — a step short of being charged — over claims he employed his wife and children in fictitious jobs as aides.

On Monday, Mr. Juppé reckoned that his past conviction for his involvement in a fictitious job scandal, as well as his age, meant he would not be the best candidate to embody political renewal and prevent his party from breaking apart.

Mr. Juppé gave a bleak assessment of the state of French politics and an election that has been plunged into unprecedented confusion.
“As for us, what a mess!” Mr. Juppé said.

Juppé Tops Polls

Eurointelligence notes “Alain Juppé could come first if he were to run instead of François Fillon. This is what the latest poll suggests: Juppé could get 26.5% ahead of Emmanuel Macron (25%) and Marine Le Pen (24%). If Fillon continues, he would come in only third with just 19%, after Macron (27%) and Le Pen (25.5%). By the way, this is the first time that Macron comes in leading the polls.”

Polling Mirage

Juppé’s support is not so much for him as it is for the desire to have Fillon gone. I doubt he is in the lead or would win the first round even if he is.

The poll with Juppé allegedly in the lead was noted by Le Figaro but the article did not mention the pollster.

Judging from the Wikipedia French Election Poll Roundup, the pollster is Odoxa, and the result appears to be an outlier.

Odoxa is the only poll that does not show Marine le Pen in the lead.  Regardless, Juppé is not running, so any poll that measures his support is invalid.

The Republicans, led by Fillon, were chomping at the bit a month ago with the socialists in total disarray. Now, unless a miracle occurs,  it’s pretty clear their chances have faded into oblivion.

Finally, Marine le Pen put in a Stellar Performance on 60 Minutes on Sunday.

I believe that 60 Minute segment is bound to improve le Pen’s chances. And if that assumption is correct, all the current polls are suspect.

I expect to see le Pen top 30% in some upcoming polls.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock