2022 French Presidential Election Runoff

April 12, 2022

2022 French Presidential Election Runoff

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are set to face off in the 2022 French Presidential Election that will take place on April 24. It is a rematch of the 2017 election when Macron triumphed with 66 percent of the votes.

Many observers had predicted this matchup in the past four years. However, the context is much different than what they had envisioned.

France is facing a lot of cultural and economic shifts. Moreover, the election comes after two years of global crises. President Macron is dealing with soaring inflation and the ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He also has to compose with the anger of young people unhappy with the direction of the country. This complicated reality makes the election outcome in two weeks totally unpredictable.

Macron and Le Pentop first round of France’s presidential election

The incumbent topped the first round of the French presidential election with 27.8% of the votes. This is a 3-point improvement in his performance from five years ago.

Le Pen also performed better with 23.2% of the ballots this time around. In 2017, she was at 21.3 percent.

While participation stood at 73.3%, it was a drop compared to the last presidential contest.
Local media highlighted a form of voter apathy to explain the almost-5 percent drop in turnout.

France still votes at a higher rate when compared to the United States. The US broke records with a 66 percent voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election.

While many are quick to call Macron a favorite to win the race, the most recent poll tells an entirely different story. The survey gives him a 2-point edge over his rival at 51 percent versus 49.

Macron and Le Pen’s rematch looks more unpredictable

Five years ago, Macron was 39 and presented a new vision of politics to win the election.
French people also rejected Le Pen as a far-right ideologue.

However, in 2022, while the two main actors on the stage remain the same, the play looks completely different. Macron has not been able to unite his country the way he had hoped.

While the economy is doing quite well, it just went through two years of slowdown because of the coronavirus. At 44, Macron is no longer a fresh face, and he has a tenure to defend.

Moreover, Le Pen has spent the last five years trying to soften her image. Her policies remain controversial and definitely right-wing for a country like France, but her presentation is milder.

The presence of far-right political commentator Eric Zemmour in the race has also helped Le Pen present herself as a much more reasonable alternative.

Will this be enough for her to win the election in two weeks?

Can Le Pen win? – 2022 French Presidential Election Runoff

The candidate probably feels like she has a date with history twenty years after her
father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was crushed in the presidential runoff against Jacques Chirac.

For Le Pen to win, she will have to appeal to Zemmour’s voters (7.1%) but also convince the supporters of the leftist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who earned close to 22 percent of the votes on Sunday.

Melenchon, who finished third in the first round, has called on his backers not to support Le Pen, but he fell short of urging them to vote for Macron.

Le Pen is betting that the discontent with Macron’s centrist policies will be enough to make her the first female president of France.

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