from The Conversation
– this post authored by Paul Smith, University of Nottingham
The 2017 presidential election won’t be the first time the French have looked out across the political landscape and seen a fractured field. In 2002, there were no fewer than 16 candidates standing in the first round of the presidential election. Back then, the field was so fractured that the Socialist prime minister Lionel Jospin was eliminated from the contest. Voters were then left with a choice between the sitting, right-wing president, Jacques Chirac, and Jean-Marie Le Pen of the far right Front National (FN).