The primary round sees Marine Le Pen of the National Front coming in first with about 30% of the vote, followed by the UMP center-right party’s nominee (whether Sarkozy, Fillon, or Juppe), followed by incumbent President Francois Hollande.
In the runoff, the center-right nominee is likely to win over either Le Pen or Hollande, unless the choices are center-left v. right, and then Le Pen beats the incumbent Hollande 54-46:
A lot can happen over a couple of years. But in the meantime it sure looks silly for the media to call the candidate who is outpolling the incumbent the “extreme right” or “far right” candidate instead of just the “right” candidate.
Novelist Michel Houellebecq’s scenario for 2022, in which the French Establishment closes ranks to deny the presidency to Le Pen even if it means electing the Islamist candidate who stumbled into second in the primary, doesn’t look all that far-fetched.