French politics news: Francois Hollande throws in the towel

The big news today in the French presidential election is that Socialist one-term President Francois Hollande announced today he is not going to run again

This news may shock some people but I sort of figured that something like this might happen, given Hollande’s absolute rock-bottom poll numbers and all the stories circulating about members of his own party threatening to run against him, etc.

The larger question now is what this might mean for the French presidential election, and whether this will give the Socialists a fighting chance with whoever they nominate. Maybe they will have a more viable candidate than Hollande would have been, but honestly I don’t think it will change the big picture much. I still see the voters holding the Socialists accountable for all the problems France has been suffering lately. I think we’ll ultimately get Francois Fillon (conservative) against Marine Le Pen (populist/nationalist/quasi-Fascist) in the final presidential runoff, but the first round of voting might end up being a little bit more interesting.