A new poll (h/t Hugo Drochon) shows Macron closing in on Le Pen in round 1 and well ahead of Fillon. This no doubt reflects a strong urge to voter utile on the part of those disappointed by the disunion of the left (see previous post) and motivated primarily by a wish to stop both Fillon and Le Pen. Macron has counted on this dynamic all along. The one thing he could not have foreseen was Juppé's defeat by Fillon, which only reinforces the push toward the center. But the disarray on the left was foreseeable no matter which candidate emerged. Hollande would have been even more divisive and less attractive than Hamon. Valls was dismissed by many as "the Sarkozy of the left." And Montebourg could never have obtained Mélenchon's support.
Two years ago, who would have proposed Macron as the favorite to be the next president of France? No one except Macron himself.