MARINE Le Pen has said that only she can protect French interests in what she saw as the “new world” of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
The 48-year-old candidate is hoping that her nationalist, anti-mass immigration and anti-establishment views will propel her to power across the Channel.
However, standing in her way is the En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron, a former Rothschild banker, who is standing on a centralist, pro-European Union platform and is currently ahead in the opinion polls.
Mrs Le Pen, daughter of the former Front National leader Jean-Marie, said: “I think I’m best placed to talk to this new world that’s emerging, to talk to the Russia of Putin, to the United States of Trump, to talk to the Britain of May… to talk to the India of Modi.”
She said that was “because all of those countries are more or less turning their backs on the ideology of free trade, of competition and of undermining social protection”.
Mrs Le Pen added: ”So I feel much more in line with their political philosophy than with Merkel’s.”
The candidate goes into Sunday’s second round run-off trailing Mr Macron, according to opinion polls.
She has won support in rural and former industrial areas by promising to retake control of France’s borders from the EU and slash immigration but has struggled to gain support in the metropolitan areas.
Mr Macron has attempted to portray Mrs Le Pen as an extremist.
He told reporters recently: “I will fight up until the very last second not only against her programme but also her idea of what constitutes democracy and the French Republic.”