“Let’s talk about energy prices”
On Sunday 10 April 2022, the first round of the French presidential election was held, with the two long-time favourites in the polls, Emmanuel Macron (La République en marche, centre-right, 27.8 percent) and Marine Le Pen (Rassemblement national, far-right, 23.15 percent), qualifying for the second round, giving us a rematch of the 2017 election. The pair was closely followed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France insoumise, far-left, 21.95 percent), and then, trailing much further behind, far-right newcomer Eric Zemmour (Reconquête, 7.07 percent). The other eight candidates in the race did not manage to obtain more than 5 percent of the vote.
While Emmanuel Macron – theoretically – still leads in this election, celebrations would be premature. According to some polls, the final stretch could prove much more difficult for him this time round, with a potential neck-and-neck race resulting in 51 percent for Macron and 49 percent for his opponent (the results in 2017 were 66 percent and 34 percent, respectively). The first round outcome suggests a far-right edging ever closer to power, reinforced by Zemmour. Meanwhile, the remaining parties have unanimously called for a united front against Le Pen.
With the second round taking place on 24 April, the candidates will have two weeks to convince voters – especially those who voted for La France insoumise, which is now France’s third-biggest political party – and maybe even attract “France’s most popular party”, the abstainers, who account for 25.14 percent of this year’s votes.
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