Marion Maréchal-Le Pen Calls it Quits

She is Marine’s niece, Jean-Marie’s granddaughter.

Breitbart:

French Front National firebrand, and niece of Marine Le Pen, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen has announced she is to step down from politics citing personal reasons.

Ms. Maréchal-Le Pen made her announcement on Tuesday afternoon saying she would not be seeking office for the French legislative elections set to occur next month. She told the press she wants to spend more time with her young child and escape the “whirlwind” of political life, Le Figaro reports.

According to various sources, there was some conflict between Ms. Maréchal-Le Pen and her aunt Marine Le Pen who was recently defeated by independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Somewhat sympathetic to her grandfather Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marion had difficulty keeping a low profile when Jean-Marie was eventually kicked out of the party by Marine.

Maréchal-Le Pen also came into conflict with FN vice-president Florian Philippot who she claimed had too much influence.

This is unfortunate. I thought she’d eventually become the Front National leader—a development I would’ve greatly supported. She has that youthful energy and seems to be more of a traditionalist Catholic than Marine.

But alas, politics is a tough business. It is not for everyone.

Live: French Run-Off Election!

Today’s the day! Check back often; I will be providing updates.

Update 4: First exit polls indeed reveal Macron as the winner, taking more than 65 percent of the vote. Holy mackerel.

Update 3: Polls have closed with the exception of larger cities. Their polls are set to close at 8:00pm.

Macron is still expected to win pretty easily. I’m not holding my breath for a Le Pen upset, but I’m highly interested in the final result margin. The closer it is, the better Front National will perform in the coming years, especially if Macron doesn’t deliver in his first term.

Update 2: Turnout by 5:00pm jumped to 65.3% of voters, which is still the lowest among the past four presidential elections. Expected overall turnout may reach 75% by the time polls close.

Update 1: Very low turnout. France 24 reports that turnout at noon was 28.2%.

Le Pen and Macron to Go Head-to-Head in Run-Off Election

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen were the top two vote-getters in today’s French presidential election. Since no one received more than 50%, the winner will be decided in a run-off election on Sunday, May 7. That’s two weeks from today.

If you’ve followed the French election, you probably saw this result coming from a mile away. But it’s historic nonetheless. Le Pen’s candidacy represents the continuing rise of populist nationalism in the West. And although Macron may be a more moderate liberal, he’s an “outsider” in that he broke off from the establishment Socialist Party to become an independent and eventually found En Marche!

As much as I want Le Pen to win, it simply won’t happen. Every party has implored their supporters to vote for Macron. But if the status quo hasn’t changed much after a few years, expect even greater support for Le Pen and Front National by the next election.

Reassuring Words From the President

I’ll be honest, I was concerned with the U.S.’ airstrike in Syria last week. I thought Trump had caved in to what Pat Buchanan calls “the War Party” and that we were surely on the road to greater conflict.

Ultimately I gave our president the benefit of the doubt. And I’m glad I did. New York Post:

Amid complaints that his aides are saying different things about Syria and his policy is confusing, President Trump emphatically cleared the air.

“We’re not going into Syria,” he told me yesterday in an exclusive interview. “Our policy is the same — it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”

Britain Crosses the Rubicon, Nigel Farage’s Reaction

It’s officially official:

LONDON — A little over nine months after British voters chose to withdraw from the European Union, Britain took a decisive — and likely irreversible — step Wednesday toward leaving a partnership that has bound the country to the continent for nearly half a century.

With the simple handoff of a letter in Brussels in the early afternoon, the British government became the first to trigger Article 50 — the mechanism for nations to exit the European Union.

“This is a historic moment from which there can be no turning back,” Prime Minister Theresa May announced to a momentarily hushed House of Commons, before debate later turned rowdy.

How is Nigel Farage celebrating, you might ask?

“You’ve been triggered!”

London Terror Attack: ISIS Claims Responsibility, Name Not Released

You have probably heard about yesterday’s London terror attack by now. Horrific but unfortunately not surprising either.

The attacker had been investigated by MI5 in the past for violent Islamic sentiments. Despite that, British intelligence were apparently not aware of any specific plot.

And sure enough, ISIS claimed the attacker as one of their own. No one has released a name yet, however. Black Label Logic relays some wisdom on this:

Dutch Election: Mixed Feelings as Results Trickle In

Welp, Geert Wilders will not be the next Dutch prime minister. Mark Rutte, the current prime minister and candidate for the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, holds a sizeable lead with 20% of the vote counted as of this writing:

VVD — People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy: 22%
PVV — Party for Freedom (Wilders’s party): 12.9%
CDA — Christian Democratic Appeal: 12.4%
D66 — Democrats 66: 11.7%
Green Party: 10.4%
Socialist Party: 9.4%

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The PVV is on track to gain a few seats in the Dutch parliament. And although the VVD will win the election, they’re on track to lose several seats as well.

What sticks out is how poorly the PvdA—the Labour Party—is performing. They’re not even polling in the top six and will also lose the vast majority of their parliament seats. If the exit polls prove to be correct, the PvdA will become the seventh-largest party after being the second-largest. Yikes.

So what does this all mean?

1) The Dutch aren’t quite ready for nationalism. The PVV gained seats but may wind up in third place behind the VVD and CDA when every vote is counted. Wilders is by no means going away.

2) Despite not being quite ready for nationalism, the Dutch are clearly not pleased with the current state of the country. Voter turnout was massive and nearly every party besides the VVD and PvdA will gain seats. Rutte will need to organize a new coalition government, which could bode well for Wilders and the PVV.

*****

If you wish to follow live updates of the election, go here. We may not know the official results for several days, however. The Dutch are counting ballots by hand because they feared Russian hacking if they used technology.