The countdown to the biggest election in Europe this year is on. On April 10, voters in France will head to the polls to decide whether to grant Emmanuel Macron a second five-year term as president. Local pollsters poll the public on a daily basis, producing vast amounts of data that, once aggregated, provide crucial insights into the likely outcome – and whether there are any potential wildcards out there to cause a stir. POLITICO tracks all polls and we’ve summarized the numbers for you in the five points below.
1. Macron is the clear favorite, but…
The data on voting intentions in the first (April 10) and second (April 24) ballots show very clear trend lines for the lead candidates. The two top-ranked candidates from the first round will compete in a head-to-head fourteen days later. Macron, the incumbent, leads by a wide margin in all polls for the first round. But, but, but… his recent jump in the polls is beginning to fade, and far-right National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen has picked voters away from her rising rival Eric Zemmour, whose campaign appears to be faltering. This has reduced Macron’s overall lead somewhat.
FRANCE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION POLL
For more survey data from across Europe, see POLITICS poll of polls.
2. Ukraine is a concern, but so are other issues
It can be difficult to find out what is on the minds of voters in the run-up to the election and what are the top reasons they say they will vote for a particular candidate. The answers in surveys often depend very much on the wording of the questions. French voters give very different answers when asked to name a) the biggest challenge facing the country and b) the most important issue for them before voting. There is general concern that the Russian invasion of Ukraine poses a threat to security and stability, and as such it is given a high priority in relation to the challenges France is facing – and history suggests that this is the would favor incumbents, particularly one who has tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to talk Russian President Vladimir Putin out of going to war. But domestic long-running issues such as the economy – especially the rise in the cost of living – and social issues also rank higher when it comes to electing a president.
3. Abstention is likely to reach a new high
While interest in the campaign itself is no less than in previous years, more voters than ever are saying they are staying home on Election Day. The lowest first round turn out in recent years, 2002 was 71.6 percent – giving far-right arsonist Jean-Marie Le Pen a stunning breakthrough in the runoff against Jacques Chirac.
4. Could there be a commotion?
While poll numbers suggest it’s all over for Macron’s challenger, it might be premature to rule out an uproar anywhere down the line. Supporters of left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon seem unsure who they would vote for in the second round if their candidate, as it seems likely, falls at the first hurdle. A consolidated conservative and far-right vote and high abstention rates could be a recipe for surprise.
5. Runoff scenario: A repeat of 2017?
For now, it looks like the April 24 runoff will pit Macron against Le Pen, a repeat of the 2017 pollster. And the outcome is likely to be the same, polls show. Macron has a comfortable lead in all polls asking about second-round voting intentions, regardless of his opponent.
https://www.politico.eu/article/5-charts-to-help-you-read-the-french-presidential-election/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication 5 charts to help you read the French presidential election - POLITICO