France:

In a surprising twist in the French presidential election, leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is surging in the polls, raising the possibility of a run-off vote between the pro-worker and pro-immigrant candidate and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also gaining voters on a staunchly progressive platform, reminiscent of Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ (I-Vt.) campaign in the U.S. presidential election.

Mélenchon has “promised to increase the minimum wage by 16 percent, to strive for a 32-hour working week, reinstate retirement at age 60, make all medical care free, increase unemployment benefits, nationalize the arms industry and electricity companies, and hire 60,000 teachers. Income tax for high earners would rise to 90 percent, while all personal earnings over €400,000 per year would be confiscated,” summarizes the Irish Times.

He’s also gained voters’ support with his sense of humor, describing the rise of his center-right opponent Emmanuel Macron—an investment banker who has never held public office—as a “hallucinogenic mushroom.”

It would be kind of crazy if at the end of the year, France and Germany are run by the left. Not very many people probably put money on that one, but it’s undeniably a possibility! And it’s a much more likely one than both countries being run by alt-right parties. Just a reminder that narratives only explain the past and can’t predict the future.

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