Outgoing President Emanuel Macron, who is running for re-election, is holding a large rally in Marseille, France’s second largest city, today to try to persuade a left-wing electorate to run with him in the second round. round of presidential elections on April 24 and against the far-right opponent of Marin Le Pen.
The choice of Marseille is not at all random, as this large Mediterranean city voted 31% in favor of the leader of the radical left Jean-Luc Melanson in the first round on April 10.
Conquering the voters of Melanson, who came third in the first round with almost 22% of the vote, is a crucial bet for the two opponents in the presidential election, who have been trying for days to win points in this constituency. .
Thousands of people are expected to attend the Macron rally, which will take place in front of the Lighthouse that dominates the Old Port of Marseille.
After the results of the first round, the outgoing president – who has always claimed that he does not belong “to either the right or the left”, but is often described as the “president of the rich” – multiplies the nods in the direction of the left and the “social” openings.
Possible retreats in his controversial plan for pension reform, criticism of the “astronomical” salaries of the heads of large companies, possible relaxation of the criteria for payment of benefits to the disabled …
It remains to be seen whether these signals will convince unpredictable voters or those tempted to abstain in view of the new Macron-Le Pen duel, after that of 2017.
Macron, who was then in the running for the new, had largely benefited from a massive “right-wing” voter barrier and had won the election with 66% of the vote.
This year the duel is expected to be more ambiguous, although polls suggest the outgoing president winning from 53% to 56%.
Protests against the far right
For Lepen, the weekend schedule was not announced on Friday night, as her agenda changes.
Dozens more demonstrations are scheduled for today in France, mainly in Paris, to say “no” to the far right eight days before the vote, following calls from organizations and unions.
The campaign for the second round proves to be more difficult for Lepen, as she is forced to go into the details of her plan.
Prior to the first round, he had focused on the issue of purchasing power, which is what worries the French the most. Her public image also turned more towards the center, as the candidate took advantage of the provocation and the highly radical speech of the other far-right candidate, Eric Zemour, who received 7% of the vote in the first round.
During an unscheduled visit to a market in Pertou (southern France) yesterday, Friday, the far-right candidate was criticized by opponents who shouted “Marin, take the road!” or “racist!”.
Asked by residents about immigration, the war in Ukraine or the Islamic headscarf she plans to ban in public, Lepen denied having a “radical” plan, calling it “extremely reasonable”.
She is now urging the French to put a stop to Macron’s second five-year presidency and is adopting more populist tones to counter the “system” and “oligarchy” in power. And at the same time she is trying to reassure me about her schedule.
When a woman in a headscarf challenged her plan to ban the Islamic headscarf in public in Perth, Le Pen assured that she was fighting for “all French people, regardless of their origin”.
This past weekend before the second round that will take place in eight days, the two opponents will also work to prepare for their teleconference that will take place on Wednesday. It has been a highly symbolic date in the history of the French presidential election since 1974 and carries risks for the candidates.