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PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Are there "shy" Le Pen voters out there in France? You can bet there are

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- Tom Winnifrith

In the US election I flagged up the phenomenon of the "shy" Trump supporter. I reckoned that 3-4% of voters were prepared to back Donald but would not fess up to pollsters and that is why I predicted the Donald would win the swing states just as the corrupt liberal media and pollsters assured us that crooked Hillary would win. So are there shy Le Pen voters in France? You bet there are.

When I tell the polite middle class pals of my Mrs that I supported Trump they are horrified but decline to hit me or throw me out of their house. But if I said I was backing Marine Le Pen - which for the avoidance of doubt I am not - they would just go mental. Last time around polls showed Marine at 16% and she scored 17%. But as she reaches out beyond her base she is attracting new non hardcore supporters who will be even more reluctant to admit it. So if the polls have Marine on 22% I'd guess that she will score 24% in the round one Presidential poll on Sunday. And that means that it is Marine vs who in the second round?

Right now the man who reminds me of a young Tony Blair, Mr Macron is at c24% in the polls. He is a man who is drawn from the elite, a metropolitan liberal whose instinct after today's Paris attack will be to worry about its effect on multi cultural diversity. He despises many of the fears and views of the sans culottes but won't admit it. He may slip on the terror attack and so it is just conceivable that the crook Fillon, a millionaire Thatcherite who stole taxpayers cash by giving his wife a bogus job might make it through to round two. A wild card is the commie Melenchon, a more left wing version of Jeremy Corbyn without the beard but with an equal lack of charisma.

The reality is that all four candidates are ghastly. The choice of young Blair, the fascist, the crook and France's Corbyn makes one despair of democracy. John Stuart Mill's comments about a poll being a choice of rotten fruit in the local market has never been more apt. If I was a froggie I am not sure I could vote for any of the rotten fruit on offer, I think Id abstain and pray for the restoration of an absolute monarchy.

And that begs a question for the second round. The assumption is that the supporters of the defeated candidates will all vote for the not Le Pen candidate. I am not so sure that a good number of the working class folks backing Melenchon seeking radical change might not go Marine. Nor would I bet against many Fillon supporters preferring a semi-reformed fascist to a socialist light candidate. What I would bet on is that in round two, FN voters will vote. But that turnout rates among those who backed the defeated candidates will be far lower- Mr Abstention will be a very popular man.

On balance I still see the non Le Pen candidate ( probably Macron) winning but I sense it will be a lot closer than some folks think. Right now all four candidates are clustered within a margin of polling error. Shy Le Pen voters and the terror attack in Paris today mean that anything could happen on Sunday.

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