The effect of a potential Marine Le Pen win
Up until recently, the chances of Ms Le Pen's National Front party winning looked pretty slim, but given the unlikely Brexit vote and Donald Trump's election to the position of US president in 2016, it seems that nothing is now out of the question when it comes to the crazy and unpredictable world of politics.
If Ms Le Pen's party was to take power in France, however, what would it mean for the country and the wider continent? We take a look at the potential impact that could come from a vote for the National Front in France in 2017.
Currency would be one of the big concerns for not only France, but Europe as a whole, and particularly those nations who adopted the euro as their currency. Political uncertainty and unexpected results can have severe impacts on currency, and they often send exchange rates spiralling.
Experts have been predicting for some time that a Le Pen win in the French election would mark a short-term crash for the euro, with the potential for the currency to drop in value by as much as 10% in the aftermath of the April’s elections.
"The possibility of a right wing win in France is raising fears in Europe, as highlighted by the rising yields on French treasuries. With the spread between French and German yields rising to the highest level in four years, there is clearly a significant degree of anxiety that is creeping into the market mindset," says Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.
The European Union (EU) was rocked by the UK's decision to leave the group of nations in 2016, and there are fears that the UK's choice to trigger Article 50 this year could lead to other countries going down the same route.
France was one of the nations highlighted back in June 2016 as being a risk in terms of right-leaning parties pushing for their own countries to leave the EU, and it seems that Marine Le Pen has intentions of doing just this, should she come to power after the election.
It's thought that Ms Le Pen wants to spearhead a populist movement similar to that seen from Donald Trump in the US, and a key part of her campaign is expected to include plans to “return to monetary sovereignty”. This would see Ms Le Pen take control of the central bank in France and "fire up the printing presses" as she attempts to make France the ruler of its own destiny with a step away from the euro as its currency.
But if France was to join the UK in leaving the EU, it would be a real shock to the organisation, with two of the largest economies departing likely to serve as an influence for other countries, such as the Netherlands, believed to be on the fence at present.
In general, the French vote for the National Front could pose a political disaster for Europe as a whole. Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy said that a win for Ms Le Pen would spark "disaster", and that it would have the potential to destroy Europe as we know it.
This is an opinion that has been mirrored by politicians from across the globe, and even former UK prime minister David Cameron has aired his opinion on the matter, saying that a vote for Marine Le Pen would be a "body blow" for the continent.
The good news is that analysts believe a Le Pen victory is unlikely at present. JP Morgan's statisticians have predicted that the likelihood of a defeat for the National Front and a mainstream victory currently stands at 72%. However, as the last year has shown, nothing can be taken for granted in the world of politics.
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