Unbelievable! So it must be true. François Hollande has apparently decided to throw his beret in the ring and go for a second term as President of France.

The fact that his support among voters is equivalent to the backing enjoyed by Donald Trump in the Clinton household is water off a duck’s back, we are told. Hollande believes that if François Fillon can come from behind to see off Alain Juppé and Nicolas Sarkozy in the race to be the Centre-Right’s candidate, then why shouldn’t he do the same with the Monsieur Nobodies of the Left.

The sauce of the man! Cue the howls of protest from just about everyone. Hollande’s problem is that the Socialist party has more or less already accepted its eclipse in next May’s Presidentials. All that remains is the identity of the individual who makes the concession speech.

Mind you, now that I think of it, Hollande is in fact the perfect man for the task. It is overwhelmingly because of him that the Left is already on life-support. He is the worst President in the history of the Fifth Republic, even allowing for the inclusion of the lamentable Sarkozy. Think of the these previous holders of the office: De Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard ‘D’Estaing, Mitterrand, Chirac. You may not agree with their politics; you may have wondered about aspects of their life and careers. But you would not say they were nobodies. Hollande and Sarkozy broke the mould which it is now up to Fillon to fashion anew.

A new school of thought would have us believe that the French people – more volatile than ever, it seems to me – will turn in gratitude to Fillon and away from Marine Le Pen, who represents a shot in the dark that they are, malgré eux, unwilling to discharge. This may, of course, be true – just as Brits were unwilling to go the whole hog on Brexit or Americans to hand the White House to Donald Trump. The counter-argument is that Le Pen has gone a long way in recent months to play up her party’s reading of the national mood and its sense of France First in a world gone mad. To vote for the Front National would have seemed a dangerous, or anarchic, step five years ago, good only to register a protest. In the New Europe, confronted by the New America, the New Russia and millions of potential immigrants from the Middle East, it looks to many to be the most appropriate response.

And yet and yet … either in spite of the evidence, or else because of it, I am inclined to think that Fillon might just be the man to stem the tide. The man has gravitas. He doesn’t ruffle easily. And if he achieved little or nothing as prime minister under Sarkozy, he can at least point to his boss – the deposed king of bling – as the man responsible. We shall see. His first hurdle comes this weekend with the second round of the centre-right primary. If he wins that convincingly, he could be on a roll. If he loses, anything is possible – which it is anyway.

Not that Fillon, or Le Pen, are all that we have to worry about. Martin Schulz, the hugely self-important, dyed-in-the-wool President of the European Parliament, who promises to make Britain’s Brexit talks a misery for all concerned, especially the UK, has since indicated that he is shifting his stall back to Berlin, where, if he can convince enough of his Social Democratic Party colleagues to give him the nod, he plans to campaign against Angela Merkel in next autumn’s German elections. Schulz as the head of the Parliament was one thing. Schulz as the Chancellor of Germany would be an unmitigated disaster for Britain.

But hey! These days anything can happen. Perhaps Fillon will come out on top in France and appoint that nice young anglophile Emmanuel Macron to be his foreign minister. And the chances are good that “Mutti” will hold on in Berlin. But gig politics are now up there with the gig economy, so maybe Le Pen will storm home in May and lead us all down the Red, White and Blue Brick Road to Frexit City, where the man behind the curtain will turn out to be Vladimir Putin.