In a year of political elections in Europe, the French presidential contest is being closely scrutinised in the old continent and around the world.
It is a new test for the future of Europe and its unpredictable democratic system.
The French election's centre of attention is undoubtedly the fortune of the far-right National Front's candidate, Marine Le Pen. Will Marine Le Pen translate her poll ratings and into electoral success in round two on 7 May 2017? Or will political newcomer Emmanuel Macron win the French election? And what happened to François Fillon in round one, once regarded as a safe hands now embroiled in a major political scandal?
Can France live up to its revolutionary history and deliver a totally unexpected political result?
In an election marked by uncertainties, there is one certainty: no matter the result, the French political landscape will likely suffer a major earthquake.
On Thursday 4 May 2017, the Monash European and EU Centre, RMIT's EU Centre and Centre for Communications, Politics and Culture are joining force to organise a panel discussion on the future of French politics, the implications for Europe but also the Western world, more broadly.
Dr Natalie Doyle: Deputy Dir, Monash European & EU Centre; Senior Lecturer in French Studies, Monash University
Albert Lecoanet: Journalist; Correspondent at Canal Plus, Arte, France24 & various French TV channels; News Gathering Editor & Commentator, ABC
Dr Maryse Helbert: Lecturer Sessional Academic, University of Melbourne;