The French presidential election could be headed for a “nail-biting” end if incumbent Emmanuel Macron and his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen go head-to-head in the second round.
The French president’s late entry into the contest and “refusal” to debate presidential candidates means Le Pen “has won against him to such an extent” that advisers are “now seriously concerned that he may lose a race.” , which looked predictable just a few weeks ago”, The Telegraph called.
The first round of voting takes place this Sunday, and if Macron and Le Pen are the highest-scoring candidates, they could face an extremely close second round.
Five years ago, at just 39 years old, Macron “stormed” his way into the French presidency after a “vigorous campaign in which his supporters knocked on doors across the country asking voters what they wanted,” he said financial times (FT).
But as he seeks a second term, his closest associates fear he has devoted too much time to diplomatic efforts related to the war in Ukraine and has become a “distant figure of the establishment who neglects to connect with voters in Ukraine.” to make contact”.
Despite an initial boost thanks to his attempts to make peace with Vladimir Putin, many French voters believe Macron is “a typical Parisian elite politician who deserves to be taken down a stick or two,” the newspaper added.
He led several political “storms” during his five-year tenure, he said France 24 – “Some were made by himself, while others raced unannounced over the horizon”.
His first year in office saw some of the most violent anti-government demonstrations since the 1960s, when protesters dressed in fluorescent yellow safety vests (yellow vests) began a “nationwide revolt” against efforts for comprehensive tax and labor market reforms.
Then, in early 2020, came the global “unique” battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, “which rendered almost all other business of government irrelevant and wrecked its recent reform plans.”
He was also criticized for his “abrasive and sometimes authoritarian” style, the broadcaster added. Some “off the cuff” comments to the public have forged a reputation for “arrogance and callousness,” including an infamous instance when he told an unemployed gardener he could “cross the street and get you a job.”
It was these comments next to it pursue a policy of tax cuts for the richthat was the “fuel” for 2018 yellow vests Protests, said journalist Nicolas Domenach, who wrote a book about the president entitled Macron: Why so much hate?.
“We didn’t just have a ‘president of the rich,’ we had a president of contempt and arrogance,” he said. “It caught on. It was as if he had been branded with it, with a hot iron.”
Macron has a “track record, particularly in the economic arena,” said former Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable The Independent.
He “disproved George W. Bush’s claim that ‘French doesn’t have a word for entrepreneur,'” he added. “Tax and labor law reforms have revitalized France’s small business and start-up culture,” and there is evidence that the economy is “recovering strongly from the pandemic compared to Germany and the UK.”
His other achievement was “anchoring pride in France’s European identity,” Cable said, banishing the specter of leaving the EU “even on the nationalist fringes.”
right-wing nationalist Le Pen approaches Macron while France prepares for its first round of voting.
According to a Harris poll last week, Macron “lost another two points in voting intentions in the first ballot,” he reported The timestaking him to 26.5% of the vote, while Le Pen gained two points with 23%.
And if the two face each other in a runoff, Le Pen is “closer than ever” to Macron at 48.5% compared to his 51.5%.
Le Pen has “benefited from a successful effort to tone down her xenophobic image,” as well as a decline in support for “anti-Islam pundits.” Eric Zemmour, says the newspaper. Her campaign “focuses on the key issue of cost of living” while “downplaying” her Russian connections.
So was Macron Accusation: “dodge debate” ahead of the first round of voting to “turn down a high-profile television appearance just as a new opinion poll showed Le Pen in her strongest position yet,” she said The Telegraph.
He has “repeatedly refused” to debate with other candidates, the newspaper added, arguing that no incumbent French president had done so before. But his “relative absence” from the campaign no doubt “contributed to a slide in his ratings.”
Nevertheless, Macron is “still on the road to victory,” said the FT. “He has the benefit of tenure,” the newspaper added, “he is prominent on the world stage” and “an effective leader during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
Until five years ago Macron was a little-known figure in French politics. As a former member of the socialist cabinet, he founded his own party, In brands!in 2016 to challenge the status quo.
Macron, now 44, was educated at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration in Strasbourg before working as an investment banker, where a well-timed deal with Nestlé and Pfizer made him a millionaire.
After being a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009, he was ran as an independent candidate and served as Economy Minister under Francois Hollande from 2014. He resigned in August 2016 to establish himself In brands! (Traveling)
Macron’s party has positioned itself as a “bipartisan” centrist and has defined itself against the outdated definitions of left and right politics to create a “Third Way” solution popularized by figures such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
“I want to reconcile the two Frances who have grown apart for too long” he said in 2017. Unlike the other frontrunners in the presidential election, Macron is pro-EU and has expressed a desire to focus on building a stronger relationship with Germany.
What about outside of politics?
Macron met his wife Brigitte Trogneux, 24 years his senior, when she was his French teacher at school. When he was 18, they announced their status as a couple and married in 2007.
The couple live with Trogneux’s three children from their previous marriage. She retired from teaching in 2016 to help with Macron’s presidential campaign.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/europe/81297/will-emmanuel-macron-win-again Election in France: will Emmanuel Macron win again?