Yes, it is a very frightening and very real worry. I remember being told that Brexit would never happen and that Trump would never win the Presidency. The far right is in a very horrible ascendance.
…and Francois Fillon is now under formal investigation. Presumably he will now withdraw from the race.
For some odd reason Fillon seems determined to destroy his own Party, as he still refuses to withdraw. Unfortunately, this may aid Le Pen.
The big difference between Brexit / Trump and Le Pen is that the polls in both the USA and the UK were predicting a very close result, and were actually not that far off - but in France Le Pen is polling around 35% for the second round - a long, long way from winning - and the Front National is actually polling below where it was a few years ago.
The real story across the developed world is the collapse of the centre: both left and right have been gaining all over Europe at the expense of centre-left and centre-right. The media is obsessed with the advance of ‘populism’ but actually the left is also gaining: Groen-Links in the Netherlands, Van der Bellen in Austria, Podemos and Syriza in southern Europe, the Pirate Party in Iceland - not to mention the now almost forgotten but incredible spectacle of an avowed socialist almost winning the American Democrat presidential nomination.
You have thought out your comment well, Geof. However, let me make one small comment; you seem to rely upon polls, while polls have been proven to have as much foresight as a blind person in a very dark room.
Well I’m clinging to the fact that Wilders was defeated in the Netherlands election. It’s the first sane result we’ve had for a while so I’m hoping it’s broken the trend. But I’m still far from complacent.