“Macron has done too much for the rich. Le Pen could be worse, but let’s try her.


Surrounded by burly bodyguards with shaved heads and admirers looking for selfies, Marine LePen received a hero’s welcome while walking through a covered market in Narbonne in the South West Franceat their last campaign stop before the start of the French elections this weekend.

Henne asked what she was thinking Emmanuel Macron The 53-year-old nationalist compared the chance of her victory to Brexit and repeated a mantra from her last rally the night before: “When the people vote, the people win.”

Voters here tomorrow will elect two politicians who will fight for a chance to rule France for the next five years in the first round of presidential elections.

Hours before midnight for last night’s election campaign, concerns mounted in the Macron camp as poll after poll found Ms Le Pen’s campaign gaining momentum and losing momentum.

At his only mass rally on April 2, Mr Macron had warned supporters that his victory was far from a foregone conclusion. “Look at Brexit and so many elections that seemed impossible and has happened… nothing is impossible,” he warned.

“Emmanuel Macron gets a little feverish in the final stages,” Ms Le Pen said after touring Les Halles, a market selling seafood and regional specialities. She was warmly welcomed by most of the stallholders, who crowded with her for photos.

Philippe Jorand, an olive seller, complained that inflation was “eroding profits”.

“Wait, we’re on our way,” she replied.

By comparison, Macron’s impromptu visit to a market in an affluent Parisian suburb was a quieter affair.

After pausing for an espresso followed by a glass of rosé with ice, Ms Le Pen said: “So for Emmanuel Macron, (Brexit) is a case for disaster? I don’t think it all works anymore.”

Brexit is a thorny issue for Ms Le Pen, who has toned down calls to leave the European Union and the euro, both rejected by a majority of voters, in favor of a slide towards a looser Europe of Nations.

“She must not mention Brexit,” said Gerard Capon, 65, after snapping a selfie with his heroine next to his wife Nicole. “The French are not ready for such talks. I also told her not to attack Macron if she got through,” he said. “She has to keep her cool and stick to her vision for the country.”

Five years ago, Ms Le Pen fell in the second round after performing poorly in the only televised debate before the final vote. This time, her camp is struggling to contain a growing sense of triumphalism. There was a cautious optimism among the well-wishers, who cheered as their campaign bus pulled into the square.

“I want her to win. I like their promise to increase pensions and cut sales tax on essentials from 20 percent to 5.5 percent,” said Rosie Garcia, 50, a bar owner.

“Macron has done too much for the rich. He may have cut taxes, but pensions and wages aren’t going up, and everything else is. Maybe she’ll get worse, but let’s try. However, a lot of people get scared at the last minute.”

Josette Bardi (84) said: “I would be happy if she wins. I’ve waited a long time for this moment and I supported her father,” adding that she would “clean up France,” particularly by expelling illegal immigrants and those “who don’t love this country.”

“I think she’s really changed for the better in every way,” said Georges Pauc, a retired singer. “I’m 70 and it’s always the same, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Let’s try them. That said, I’m not sure she will. It’s called Le Pen, and despite everything, it still scares people.”

Nadege (35), a strategic analyst, said: “I have no particular desire to greet Marine Le Pen. I intend to vote for Conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse in the first round and for Mr Macron in the runoff because I disagree with Le Pen’s nationalist views and socialist economic program.” (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] “Macron has done too much for the rich. Le Pen could be worse, but let’s try her.

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