Back in 2012, when François Hollande was considered France’s newest hope and not the least popular president in living memory, some enterprising soul realised that he looked a bit like a wombat. They even made a Tumblr account called "Wombats That Look Like François Hollande" to draw attention to the fact. But it was more than just a physical resemblance - with his waddling gait and timid demeanour, Hollande has at times seemed to really be a wombat in human form.
Now, as the first round of the French presidential elections approaches, we decided to take a walk on the wild side and decide which animal most resembles each of the five major candidates...
(Click the slider to move each image.)
Marine Le Pen
The number of recorded shark attacks in human history is incredibly low, but thanks to the way they’re played up by the mainstream media, most people are terrified that the prospect is inevitable. So it is with the Front National in France. That’s even before you consider the dead, unfeeling eyes; the rictus grin full of sharp teeth; or the fact that the FN risks dying if it stops moving forward. Plus, Marine? That name can’t be a coincidence...
Popular with both the young and old, not exactly left-wing and not exactly right-wing, En Marche! leader Emmanuel Macron is like the faithful puppy that always does his best to please you. His bright-eyed enthusiasm about Europe is so infectious that, even when he occasionally wets the carpet (or more accurately makes dodgy comments about gay marriage), it’s hard to stay mad for long.
At the age of 65, Jean-Luc Mélenchon - leader of the new party La France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France) - is one of the oldest candidates in this year’s elections. And what animal says aged wisdom like an owl? Add to that his wide-eyed stare and his penchant of turning his head from side to side during debates and interviews, and the resemblance becomes uncanny.
To be honest, we mostly chose this goat for its magnificent pair of eyebrows. But the more we looked at it, the more we saw the candidate for the Republican party. It doesn’t matter how many scandals he gets dragged into involving suits costing 13,000 euros or family members being paid for doing no work at all; the stubborn old goat will just put his head down and keep on charging.
Given his particularly impressive beak, it was obvious that the Socialist Party’s (PS) candidate would end up being some sort of bird. And while it might seem cruel to paint Hamon as a sort of scavenger, consider what he has to work with. With François Hollande’s approval rating hovering around 4% and Mélenchon taking more and more support from the left, it’s fair to say that the PS is in a difficult situation. But how long can Hamon sustain himself on the bones of Hollande’s presidency?