"France is scheduled to hold the first round of what is expected to be a two-round presidential election on April 23, 2017. The second round would take place on May 7. The presidential campaign has exposed apparent wide-scale public dissatisfaction both with the presidency of outgoing President François Hollande and, more broadly, with a French political establishment perceived by many as self-entitled and increasingly out of touch with the French electorate. Unprecedented in modern France, the two current front-runners for the presidency represent political parties outside the mainstream. The leading candidates' calls to uproot a French political system long dominated by one large center-right and one large center-left party appear to be resonating with an electorate that has experienced a decade of economic stagnation and a series of terrorist attacks which claimed the lives of more than 240 people over the past two years. Consequently, many analysts in France and elsewhere maintain that the 2017 election could have far-reaching implications for the French political system, French society, and even the future of the European Union (EU)."
CRS Report for Congress, R44815
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html