In France we’re into the last 36 hours or so before we learn who will be the next president. The polls, which were pretty much bang on in the first round, are still predicting a Macron victory. But…

Point one. The gap has been narrowing. I’d be surprised if Macron gets 60% of the vote on Sunday. Given that the second round is the point where you vote for your “least worst choice” and Le Pen has been demonized by the MSM and everyone they can interview – both foreign and domestique – this is really not a sign of strength for the French establishment (or the greater EU establishment come to think of it).

Point two. Related. In the TV debate, which the talking heads scored as a win on points for Macron, Le Pen got in a very Trumpian zinger that rocketed around the country:

La France sera dirigée par une femme dimanche, ce sera moi ou Madame Merkel
(France will be led by a woman on Sunday, it will be either me or Mrs Merkel)

I say this is Trumpian because, just like Trump’s jibes,  it hits right in the (to mix metaphors lightly) visceral lizard brain. France has been fighting Germany since before there was a Germany and it has lost more times than it has won. The idea that the EU (and the Euro in particular) are now German controlled is exactly the sort of thing that a patriotic Frenchman hates but yet fears might be true.

Point 2a. In the last two weeks Le Pen has shown herself to have far far better political skills than Macron – the visit to the Amiens picket line being inspired. Like Trump (but more so) if you can pin her on the details of her policies she sounds deluded, but her appeal is not at the intellectual level, it’s at the emotional one and in the battle of who you like she’s way ahead. Macron comes across as a creepy mother-loving pimply bureaucrat. He lacks, as Wodehouse might put it, gravitas whereas Le Pen is almost the archetype of the French working woman sitting in the PMU with a quart de rouge who provides you with profane sympathy after a tough day. Macron isn’t as robotic as Clinton but the more you watch the more you think you can see the strings pulling him around. Are the held by his fellow Enarques? by the Euro establishment? Mrs Merkel? He may not have been bought and paid for by Wall St. (though the Rothschild connection is not dissimilar) but he does seem to have the same establishment backing, notwithstanding his “outsider” pitch.

Point the third. In another echo of the US election we have a document dump courtesy (I’m about 90% sure) of our buddies in Moscow. It’s hit so late in the campaign for anyone to be able to provide more than a quick overview and confirmation or debunking but I’m going to guess that, just as with Clinton, the documents are all genuine. Some of them may turn out to be nothing like as scandalous as they might first appear but I suspect they confirm the utter fraud of his claimed “outsider” status and probably show that he’s at least as venal as Fillon (who is probably asking why no one released that dump a month ago).

Franciois Fillon hears the news of the Macron document dump

Leading us to point four. Voting “Blanc”. i.e. abstention, may turn out to be the winner. Unlike in 2002 when it was easy to mobilize lot of people to “Votez escroc, pas facho” and keep Le Pen père out of power, in 2017 there’s a lot of people who are very very upset with the sleaze and corruption of the governing classes because the unstated bargain was “we won’t ask how you got so rich as long as we’re doing OK”. For France in 2017 with enormous youth un(der)employment, a profound hollowing out of manufacturing and so on, the “we’re doing OK” class has declined considerably. I suspect that a very large proportion of the French electorate now has no positive feeling for either candidate and, as a result, is likely to feel that they should just abstain from voting.

If you desired a result where France would become ungovernable and, as a result, destabilize the EU and the Euro then you couldn’t get much better than where we are now. If, as seems likely, Macron wins he’s going to be damaged goods and unlikely to be able to do anything positive at all. If Le Pen wins then there will be disturbances and even more instability. The result depends on just how many French voters are sick of the stagnant status quo and willing to try anything to escape from it.