How Le Pen could win

To win them over, Le Pen is trying to address — very late in the game — their biggest fear about her program: the fact that she wants to hold a referendum on French membership of the EU and revert to the French currency in the event of a Leave result. It’s a turnoff for anyone who has assets and doesn’t want to see them devalued by currency depreciation.

Le Pen knows this. “Some conservatives are anxious about leaving the eurozone,” Jérome Rivière, a former conservative MP who switched over to Le Pen’s camp and now sits on her strategic campaign committee, told POLITICO in Nice. So Le Pen is dialing back her anti-EU rhetoric as fast as she can and even named a man who never fully embraced the idea of a “Frexit,” the defeated conservative independent Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, as her potential prime minister.

Bringing Dupont-Aignan on board in exchange for the PM post (in addition to who knows what enticements — he owes millions of euros in campaign costs that will not be reimbursed by the state) was a major gesture of openness for the leader of a party renowned for its insularity and family leadership.

It could make her seem less radioactive to regular conservatives, but it’s also a recipe for confusion. Dupont-Aignan said when asked about the euro that France would take a year to leave, versus six months in the party literature. Popular Le Pen niece Marion Maréchal-Le Pen sees a departure from the eurozone even further out — not before three years.

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