Emmanuel Macron faces a tighter race against far-right Marine Le Pen. French voters go to the polls today.
French voters go to the polls tomorrow to choose their President… and it will be on track.
After a tight first round when half of the nation backed candidates who did not make it to the final round, incumbent leader Emmanuel Macron faces an even tighter race with National’s Marine Le Pen Far-right Rally in a 2017 iteration.
Nowhere is it tighter than in Lille. This industrial city near the border with Belgium is an important “pivot country”.
One in four people live below the poverty line here, so grievances over immigration and the cost of living helped Le Pen top the first local poll.
But many, especially on the left, say the choice between her and Macron is like having to vote for plague or cholera. “It was a bad choice,” said office worker Emilie, 24. “I don’t trust it either.”
Her views are common in this ultramarginal constituency. Retail worker Irene, whose family came here from Senegal, West Africa, said: “I don’t like Le Pen but I don’t think Macron would change anything if he stayed.”
AFP via Getty Images)
With a million votes here, the ruling on Lille’s working class could be decisive.
Dr Françoise Boucek, an expert on French politics at Queen Mary University of London, said: “In places like Lille, it’s all about who can attract people who feel underprivileged in Paris. leave.”
Migration is a discriminatory issue in the South, where there are higher levels of foreign workers. Le Pen has previously called for a ban on liberal advocacy and a “Frexit”.
Le Pen’s connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin is also a hot issue, and during a televised debate on Thursday, Macron told her: “When you talk to Russia, you’re talking to Russia. with your banker”.
Le Pen’s party has taken millions of dollars from Moscow but she denies it hurts her opposition to the war in Ukraine. Her rejection of a plan to cut Russian oil and gas imports could also appeal to voters affected by the soaring bills.
“I will vote for Le Pen,” a veteran left-winger told me. “I always vote communism, but we are paying more for everything and making less than ever before. Something needs to change.”
Hours before the polls opened, Ipsos France said Macron was leading with 55% of the vote to Le Pen’s 45%.
But with 1 in 6 people saying they won’t go to the polls, victory could depend on some last-minute decision.
Yesterday, Macron urged people to vote so they don’t “wake up with a hangover”. If successful, he will be the first French president in 20 years to win a second term.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/macron-vs-le-pen-vote-26782182 Macron vs Le Pen vote 'like choosing plague or cholera' speaks depressed French - World News