Parallels between France and the US don’t make any sense said Alain Juppé on Wednesday as politicians and commentators have stressed France could be the next country to defy opinion polls.
Juppé is the pollsters’ favourite to win the centre-right primary later this month and would then be the clear frontrunner to become the next president of France, given the unpopularity of current head of state François Hollande.
As a former prime minister of France Juppé has been around the block and is certainly a long-time member of the country’s political elite.
That's unlike far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, the anti-establishment wildcard, who Juppé is expected to go up against in the second round run-off vote.
Polls suggest Juppé will win, fairly handsomely, but as Brexit and Trump’s election showed, political predictions are proving fraught these days.
And politicians and experts say France must confront the possibility of Marine Le Pen “doing a Trump”.
But Juppé, who has a real conviction for corruption, ridiculed the idea he could suffer a shock defeat like Hillary Clinton, who was accused by Trump of being “crooked”.
“Firstly, opinion polls mean nothing. Everyone know that opinion polls are not certain,” he said.
“I’m not Hillary Clinton. And who is Trump in France? Let’s be serious. We can draw conclusions from this election. We must listen to the anger of those who feel completely abandoned, but to draw conclusions in terms of personalities is ridiculous.
Virginie Calmels, Juppe's deputy in Bordeaux and one of his campaign spokesperson told Reuters: “It's not quite the same in France and in the United States.”
Juppé has said he would work with Trump if elected president.