49 million French decide between Macron and Le Pen

The European country faces the presidential ballot with fears of high abstentionism, and with war and inflation dominating the debate. All the polls give Macron the winner.

From 8 in the morning this Sunday (04.24.2022) the polling stations receive the French who vote this day in the second round of the presidential elections. Almost 49 million citizens will be divided into some 70,000 tables to decide whether the government remains in the hands of Emmanuel Macron or if the far-right Marine Le Pen succeeds him.

Starting at 8:00 p.m., the demographic institutes will be able to make their estimates known, once they have closed the tables in the big cities. In the overseas territories, meanwhile, voting began a few hours earlier, due to the time difference. Le Pen could become the first woman in charge of the country or Macron the first to be re-elected since the conservative Jacques Chirac (1995-2007).

Fifteen days after the first round, which ended with Macron in first position with 27.8 percent of the vote, four percentage points more than Le Pen, voters only have both options on the ballot, repeating the duel of five years. Although all the polls give the current president a victory, there is a high percentage of undecided. And, if he succeeds, everything indicates that it will be by a much smaller margin than he obtained in 2017 against Le Pen herself.

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According to the latest polls released on Friday, the 44-year-old candidate from the Republic on the Move (LREM) would beat his 53-year-old rival from the National Association (RN), with a 10-point advantage. In 2017 they were close to 33 points. Five years later, France is not the same country: social protests marked the first half of Macron’s term, a global pandemic confined millions of people and the Russian offensive in Ukraine shook the European continent with force.

Abstention stood at 26.31 percent in the first round. The current ballot can break the record of blank or null votes that many French people chose in 2017 to express their refusal to choose between the two finalists. “We could reach the record for the fewest number of votes in a presidential election,” he told the newspaper on Saturday. liberation the political scientist Bruno Cautrès, for whom the final abstention of left-wing voters “would not reverse the trend” favorable to Macron.

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“Regardless of the winner, the country will be more difficult to govern in the next five years,” political scientist Chloé Morin told AFP. One of the keys will be in the legislative elections to be held on June 12 and 19, which could put an end to Macron’s parliamentary majority.

DZC (EFE, AFP)

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