The world is watching to see if France becomes the next major country to challenge liberal values and the political establishment.
Politicians from the Socialist and Les Républicains parties – the mainstream centre-left and centre-right groups that have dominated French politics for decades, but found themselves shut out by voters – united on Monday to urge the country to back Emmanuel Macron and reject Marine Le Pen’s populist, anti-EU and anti-immigration nationalism.
The outgoing president, François Hollande, said he would vote for Macron, his former economy minister, because Le Pen represented “both the danger of the isolation of France and of rupture with the EU”. A far-right president would “deeply divide France”, he said. “Faced with such a risk, it is not possible to … take refuge in indifference.”