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Macron and Marine Le Pen will compete in the second round

Macron and Marine Le Pen will compete in the second round

Published on 10/04/2022 20:59 / Updated on 10/04/2022 21:02

(Credit: JOEL SAGET, Eric Feferberg/AFP)

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen had the most votes In the first round of the French presidential election, which was held on Sunday (10/4). The incumbent French president received 27.6% of the vote, while the far-right candidate received 23%.

The competition was tougher than expected. Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon received 22.2% of the vote, according to the French newspaper. Le Monde.

The first round saw 12 candidates for the position of president, but the most prominent vote was the large number of abstentions, at 26.2%, nearly four points above the record in 2017, in the last elections. In France, voting is not mandatory.

The second round will be held on April 24 and It will be a rematch of 2017. In the first round of elections five years ago, Macron had the most votes with 24% of the vote, compared to Le Pen who got 21%.

In the second round, he won 66% to 34%. According to the latest Ipsos poll, Macron is expected to repeat the feat and win the second round with 54% to 46%, a tougher confrontation than in the previous elections.

If Macron wins re-election, he will be the first president to do so in more than two decades.

Second round scenario

Now, the French will have to decide whether to continue President Emmanuel Macron’s reform policies, which have sparked a wave of protests in recent years, or to shift toward Le Pen’s ultra-conservative policy.

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Macron has come under fire for being late to the campaign, with voters even calling him “arrogant”. She gave priority to the conflict in Ukraine, trying to highlight Europe’s leading role. When he noticed that Marine Le Pen was gaining power, he accused her rival of lying by adopting a more moderate tone than her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front, and concealing a racist government programme.

Analysts fear that Le Pen will eventually win the second round on April 24, and that France will follow the United Kingdom’s lead and try to break away from the European Union, which will lead to the collapse of the integration. There are also fears that the ruling far-right could jeopardize Europe’s leadership role. With the departure of Angela Merkel from power and the rise of Olaf Schulz as German chancellor, Macron has sought to establish himself as Europe’s leading political figure.

Thomás Guénolé, a PhD in political science, a leftist specialist and former professor at the universities of Paris, explained that voters have been migrating to the far right for decades. In 1982, he recalls, about 50% were supporters of left-wing candidates. Thirty years later, that rate has halved. In 1982, nearly zero percent of voters were from the far right. Now they add up to a third. He commented on this that Le Pen’s performance in the polls improved because Zemmour voters decided more and more to vote for her in order to secure the far right in the second round.

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“The probability of Marine Le Pen winning the second round is very low. However, it is not even zero. You will need a far-fetched but possible scenario: an unexpectedly large number of voters support her instead of Macron. And a large number of voters on the left have chosen to abstain and abandon Macron. “.