France - the way forward? -- It is the penultimate Sunday in April, the daffodils are in bloom and it is most certainly a day of decision in France. As polls opened this morning and the four candidates face the first of two votes in as many weeks, what is decided in Paris and its environs will most certainly affect the UK's immediate future.

The candidates

There are four contenders all offering stark choices. If you favour Emmanuel Macron - current independent favourite (24.5%) - then you believe as he does, that Brexit was a most heinous crime perpetrated by the British people.

If he gains power he intends to chastise the UK severely for this. He has already called for the rebuilding of the 'EU dream,' and for the remaining members to close ranks and make it very hard indeed for the UK to gain any immediate headway in joining the 'single market.'

On the other hand, Marine Le Pen - far-right (23%) - has made much of Brexit, stating it was a formidable decision on our part - obviously having her own ideas in that direction should she win - and she would certainly stop the EU from threatening and trying to blackmail Britain before any formal discussions actually begin. Fervently right-wing, she is the daughter of a firebrand father, one who came second in the first round of elections in 2002 against Jacque Chirac, who then went on to win the second with an 80% landslide.

Strongly anti-Islam, anti-immigration and pro the fight against terror, she believes she can do better than her father and go on to win on the second ballot on May 7th. In the past week alone, she has had a considerable boost to her stance, with the shooting of a policeman in Paris and swears to reinstate border checks, expel foreigners and ban all immigration illegal or not, if she wins.

In third place Francois Fillon -Conservative 19% - has promised not to punish Britain in the upcoming talks.

In third place Francois Fillon -Conservative (19%) - has promised not to punish Britain in the upcoming talks. He favours a more measured approach, with fast productive discussions that will promote good neighbourly conduct and a fair-minded separation for those concerned.

In fourth place is Jean-Luc-Melenchon - Left (19%) - A straight talking man who believes that the UK should be let go without any punishment at all, for Europe has become nothing more than an open-air jail. He believes strongly that the EU in its current state has had its day and needs to be thoroughly reformed. The result for the UK is 75% favourable, against 25% unfavourable.

The possible outcome

By tonight there will be only two parties left in the race, which would leave the UK with a 50/50 chance of a good final settlement. With Macron it would lead to difficulties, as he is certainly no lover of the UK, whereas with Le Pen, the difficulties could be even greater, for her fundamental stances are certainly not Britain's. In the end, though, it is what is best for the people of France that really matters, not us. For the decision they make. they have to live with.