«Fillon became the candidate for his party in November 2016  because they wanted someone clean and moral in reaction to the scandal-ridden Sarkozy, the last president from the right. Since then Fillon has come under investigation by the police for allegedly paying his wife more than €700,000 of public money for parliamentary work she never did. There have also been other allegations against him. He had said he would drop out if he was investigated, but in the end he did not—a strategic miscalculation for him and his party. From leading the pack his support bled to Le Pen and to Macron and cost him his place in the second round. For now, the second-round polls show more Fillon voters opting for Macron than Le Pen, but they also show a significant number abstaining. So when Marine Le Pen said she was taking temporary leave from the leadership of the FN on the day after the elections, it was clear that this was a maneuver designed above all to attract support from Fillon voters who could not stomach the FN but might be tempted to vote for her alone. “#Fillon and his lieutenants told us that #Macron was baby Hollande,” she tweeted sarcastically, “and now they are calling us to vote for him?”




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