Well the horses are now lined up for the final furlong. How many of my readers know what a furlong is in this metric age? The length of ten cricket pitches.
1. On the extreme left the communists, Trotskyites, workers struggle etc. (not counting a few independent candidates ) under Melanchon.
2. The official Socialist party candidate, Hamon, hard left of the party, O brave new world.
3. Macron, a sort of New Age independent leftish economic liberal Joker,
4. The Conservative, Catholic, upright, Mr Clean, Fillon,
5. On the extreme right, Le Pen, who is or is not a fascist, depending on how far left of her one is.
To understand French politics one must remember what has happened since the French revolution in 1789.
The French have had 5 republics, 2 monarchies, 2 empires and various minor forms of government including for example that of Pétain in the 2nd World War.
The United States during the same time frame (from 1776/83) are still on their 1st republic.
Of course since the last upheaval in 1968 there has been nothing like a revolution although God only knows what would happen if Le Pen was victorious. God, as every Englishman knows is an Englishman, is otherwise engaged wooing a certain Trump, so will probably not intervene. Perhaps he might be better off wooing Miss Universe