The French return to the polls to decide definitively between Macron and Le Pen

Photo: Ansa.

The second round of presidential elections takes place on Sunday in France. Nearly 49 million citizens were called to the polls, spread over about 70,000 polling stations, to decide whether the government would remain in the hands of Emmanuel Macron or whether the far-right Marine Le Pen would succeed him.

Starting at 8:00 p.m., the demographic institutes will be able to announce their estimates, once tables in major cities close. Meanwhile, voting in the Overseas Territories began a few hours earlier due to the time difference. Le Pen could become the country’s first female president or Macron the first woman to be re-elected since conservative Jacques Chirac (1995-2007).

Fifteen days after the first round, which ended with Macron taking first place with 27.8 percent of the vote, four percentage points more than Le Pen, voters had only two options on the ballot, to repeat the five-year duel. Although all opinion polls have given the incumbent president a victory, there is a high percentage of undecided. And in case of success, everything indicates that it will be by a much smaller margin than the one obtained in 2017 against Le Pen herself.

more difficult to judge

According to the latest polls released on Friday, the 44-year-old candidate from La Repubblica en Marcha (LREM) will beat his 53-year-old opponent from AgrupaciĆ³n Nacional (RN), by 10 points. In 2017, they came close to 33 points. Five years later, France is no longer the country itself: social protests mark the first half of Macron’s term, a global pandemic that has trapped millions of people, and the Russian offensive in Ukraine has shaken the European continent hard.

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The abstention rate was 26.31 percent in the first round. The current ballot could break the record for the null or void votes many French chose in 2017 to express their refusal to choose between the finalists. “We can reach the record for the fewest votes in the presidential election,” political expert Bruno Cautres told Liberation newspaper on Saturday, as he said that the eventual abstention of left-wing voters “will not reverse the trend” favorable to Macron.

“Regardless of the winner, it will be more difficult to govern the country in the next five years,” political expert Chloe Morin told AFP. One of the main factors will be the legislative elections to be held on June 12 and 19, which could put an end to Macron’s parliamentary majority.

(taken from Dr..)

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