Presidential Election in France: Macron and Le Pen look to the left

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The two opponents in the French presidential election, outgoing President Emanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, are looking to the left as they glare at Jean-Luc Melanson’s voters who analysts say could be make the difference in the second round, on April 24.

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Confident in advance that they have received as many votes as they could get from their right, the two candidates are competing in the field of purchasing power, the issue that concerns most of all the French.

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Macron, who has tripled his travels since Sunday, was due to travel to eastern France today, the day after a tour of the north, to areas that voted overwhelmingly in the first round in favor of Marine Le Pen.

As he continues to face attacks on his plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65, the outgoing president and presidential candidate gave a strong signal to voters on Monday, half-opening the door to retire at 64. This is an unexpected concession on his part.

To win the race, Macron, who garnered 27.85% of the vote Sunday, must convince as many left-wing voters as possible. Today he will go to Mulhouse and Strasbourg, two cities in which the radical leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melanson came first on April 10, collecting 35-36% of the vote (compared to 21.95% he received nationally).

But the goal is not easy.

“I’m waiting for him to show signs of opening up,” said Jean Mathieu, an architect who voted for Melanson and said he wanted to “vote for Macron in the second round, even though he did not like it.”

Accused of being too absent before the first round, Macron decided to increase his visits and direct contacts with voters, which he really likes. His effort is set to culminate in a large rally on Saturday in Marseille, France’s second-largest city hit by insecurity and poverty, for which he announced an extensive support plan in September.

“The rematch is different”

For her part, Marin Le Pen, who says she has learned from her last duel with Emanuel Macron in the 2017 presidential election, called on voters on the right, as well as the left, to “unite together” as early as Sunday night. “, praising a plan of” social justice “and” protection “.

The daughter of the founder of the far-right National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, today published a new very strict pre-election poster with the inscription “for all the French”, thus continuing to “polish” her public image.

The candidate, who supports keeping the retirement age at 62, wants to carry out a profound reform of institutions through referendums and enshrine in the Constitution the “national priority” to allow “only the French” access to certain social allowances.

He also wants to ban the headscarf in public and punish the offenders with a “fine”.

During her move yesterday, Monday, to central France, Le Pen, who received 23.15% of the vote in the first round, insisted, as she had done throughout her election campaign, on the purchasing power, which has due to high inflation, stressing the need to take “urgent measures” to address it.

With its strategy of being close to the voters and promoting social issues, it is betting on the votes of Jean-Luc Melanson and his party “The Rebellious France”, before those of its far-right rival Eric Zemour.

Lepen today denounced Melanson’s “betrayal” of his constituents, calling on them not to vote in the second round for the far-right candidate, who she said had pursued “a violent anti-social policy”. .

“I tell Jean-Luc Melanson’s voters, be truly disobedient, (…) do not go and save Emanuel Macron’s head,” candidate Sebastian Senny told LCI.

For Ipsos polling institute director Brice Tentière, “this is a completely different rematch” than in 2017, when Macron beat Lepen by a margin in the second round: “the poster of the match is the same and at the same time it is not the same at all “.

At this stage, Melanson’s voters intend to vote “34% in favor of Emanuel Macron, 30% in favor of Marin Le Pen, ie more than in 2017, and 36% will stay at home”. clarified Tentiere.

SOURCE: AMPE

Source: Capital

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