A political editor has shared his view that if Marine Le Pen were to win next May's presidential election in France, it could be the end of the European Union.
This follows Nicolas Sarkozy being defeated in the first round of voting to choose the centre-right Republican party's candidate, by Francois Fillon – his former prime minister.
Fillon will face off against Alain Juppe next Sunday in a contest that will decide who will be the Republican candidate in next year's presidential election – running, most likely, against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Front National Party.
John Pete, political editor of The Economist, argued that Le Pen may not be favourite to win in May, according to surveys, but pollsters may have got their information wrong once again.
"If it came to a run-off between Juppe or Fillon against Le Pen," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer, "the expectation is that most of the socialist voters will say, 'anyone but Le Pen.'
"You'd have to say the centre-right candidate would be the most likely winner – but I think you should also say the opinion polls which predict results have once again got it wrong – something revealed in the primary yesterday.
"I would say Le Pen is unlikely to win in May, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out. If she did win, that would be the end of the European Union, in my view."