‘Feeling of fatigue’ as France prepares to choose its next president | Election News


Paris, France – French voters prepare to vote in Sunday’s presidential election, the 12th of the Fifth Republic since 1958.

The campaign was overshadowed by the Russian-Ukrainian War. Domestically, he has not committed debilitating misconduct like the 2017 embezzlement scandal of François Fillon, the right-wing candidate for the Les Républicains party.

Even the controversy of Emmanuel Macron’s government around the use of the consulting firm McKinsey – pushed by the media – failed to ignite a spark.

The run-up to the election was marked by a mix of apathy and worry, due to what political professor Pierre Bocquillon described as “a predicted story” between Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Bocquillon, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, said Macron’s appeal and drive deteriorated from the 2017 election when he announced his candidacy as a newcomer.

“Macron failed. In fact, he hasn’t really tried to mobilize his centre-right support base,” he said.

“He still leads in the polls by a relatively comfortable margin as the candidate for continuity and stability in uncertain times, but the gap with Marine Le Pen is also closing as she appears to be sucking up some of the support from the EU. other extreme right and wild card candidate Eric Zemmour.

There is also the fact that the 12 candidates in the campaign did not have a single vision, which contributed to the feeling of fatigue among the 48 million French people, said Jacques Reland, senior researcher at the Global Policy Institute.

“Most of the 2022 candidate programs are demagogic, not entirely serious and would, if elected, be a disaster for France and Europe,” he said. “They focused their attacks on Macron under the ‘everything but Macron’ line, rather than a serious vision for France’s future.”

Instead, each candidate, including Macron, announced practical steps that might appeal to voters.

“But there’s no vision behind it,” Reland said, describing the election as “boring for many.”

“There is a kind of weariness among the French population.”

wolf in lamb’s clothing

Although it is feared that voter turnout will be higher in this election than in all previous ones, some, like Gabriel, 24, are still unsure who to vote for.

“I’m still hesitating between two candidates,” said the e-commerce worker, standing in front of a police station. “I am still young and I am more and more interested in politics. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the country and its issues.

The rise of the far right – which is expected to garner a third of the global vote – has been chilling, he added.

“That’s why we have to vote on Sunday.”

No president has ever won by absolute majority. The second round of the election will take place on April 24, giving the two favorites two more weeks to campaign.

Macron won the last election by a comfortable margin thanks to the strategy of forming a “republican shield,” or last line of defense, against Le Pen and his far-right ideals by gaining support from other parties.

This time, Bocquillon said, he intends to do the same.

“Clinging to power may be a successful strategy, but it’s also a risky strategy,” Bocquillon said. “First, there are a lot of people who are still undecided, and most likely abstention will be higher than usual.”

This strategy is also giving way to far-right ideology increasingly present in public discourse, he added.

According to Reland, Macron and Le Pen are tied in the polls in two age brackets: 25-34 and 50-64.

“What is scary is that Marine Le Pen is now seen as a serious and acceptable candidate for many,” he said. “She looks like the girl next door, who will babysit you on your vacation. But it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

There is also a strong feeling among some people who want to kick the table to shake things up and say it might be time to see what Le Pen could do as president, a he added.

“There’s definitely Le Pen momentum there,” Reland said, saying it was more than enough cause for concern. “Thirty-nine percent of people think she would make a great president. In 2017, that number was 27%. The real campaign starts on April 11.


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