One French policeman was killed and two were injured on the Champs Élysé e s avenue in Paris. The event seems like a terror attack. The attacker was killed as well and his identity is yet to be known.
Happening only three days before the elections and with around 30% of voters undecided, there is no doubt that the incident in one of the world’s most famous boulevards will have a significant impact on voting.
But how exactly?
The race is quite open with no less than four candidates vying for the two seats in the second round. In a normal election cycle, such a tragic event usually helps the right against the left. A right-wing tough candidate is seen as better suited to combat violence while the left is seen as soft.
But this election cycle is far from normal.
Macron stronger in the second place
If we go with the left-right paradigm, Le Pen is set to gain ground with her anti-Islam, anti-immigration messages. But who will she take votes from? A voter that might be persuaded to vote for the extreme right is not likely to think of voting for a former socialist and centrist at the same time.
Le Pen could take votes from Fillon, the center-right candidate which is seen as the establishment vote. The attack could help her come out first in the first round, leaving Macron at second place. But it could also help secure Macron the second place and leave Fillon behind.
Another scenario is also market-friendly
In another scenario, Le Pen gains from Fillon and Fillon gains from Macron. A voter that places their self in the center could be thinking of voting for either Fillon or Macron. This is less likely than a shift between Fillon and Le Pen. Yet also under this scenario, Fillon makes it to the second round and there he could beat Le Pen.
If Fillon, an experienced ex-Prime Minister reaches the second round on a fresh wave of support (with the public forgetting about his scandals), he would easily beat Le Pen there. President Fillon would also enjoy more parliamentary support than President Macron.
Nightmare scenario less likely
Such a terrorist attack certainly does not help hard-left Melenchon gain ground. He had a big upswing, putting him in a striking distance from the second round.
The nightmare scenario is Le Pen vs. Melenchon: two market-unfriendly candidates. It can still happen, but the tragic event diminishes the chances.Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs