#legrandebat has come to an end. Though five candidates were involved in the debate, this night was in actuality a duel between Macron and Le Pen. Unto now polling indicates La Pen would lose to Macron in the second round of voting, and this was the National Front leaders only opportunity to reverse that fact.
The snap verdict is this; Le Pen won the debate, but that is not enough. She allowed the others to squabble, and in doing so made them look infantile while she stood looking presidential. She advocated ‘patriotic economics’ essentially a form of populist socialism. Her policies were popular amongst the audience and her stances were bold.
However she failed to land a knockout blow. Her poll ratings will go up as a consequence of this debate, but she will still lose to Macron.
Macron preformed well, though stumbled on the hurdle of campaign finance. In refusing to deny he receives donations from big pharma, he’s surely raised some eyebrows regarding his own integrity. Nether the less he survived a sustained assault, and I predict will go on to be the next French President.