Every four years, plenty of Americans wish they were given more than two serious options for president. The French, however, are comparatively spoiled for choice with five candidates in this year’s ballot.
This diverse array of contenders will all but certainly be winnowed down to a head-to-head by France’s two-round voting system. Unless one candidate wins a (highly unlikely) majority in the first round, the two candidates who receive the most votes in round one (April 23, 2017) will face off in a second round (May 7, 2017).
Here are the 5 people vying for the French presidency in 2017.
Marine Le Pen
Any conversation about the French presidential race must begin with the Front National’s Marine Le Pen, because she’s the only candidate who consistently makes the second round in polls. She leads the current pack with about 25 percent of the vote in the first round. The far-right firebrand, who has dubbed herself “Madame Frexit,” speaks loudly and often about withdrawing France from the E.U. and Eurozone. While the French president doesn’t have power to unilaterally pull France out of the EU, she can use her (likely limited) influence in parliament and campaign aggressively for a public Brexit-style vote. And while an IFOP poll from July showed that nearly 70 percent of French people support EU membership, if 2016 taught us anything, it’s never take referendum outcomes for granted.