French election: Why is Emmanuel Macron Leading?

On April 10 and 24, French citizens will vote for their next president in the Fifth Republic’s twelfth presidential election.

In the first round, there will be 12 candidates on the ballot. The election in April will be the ninth since General Charles de Gaulle was elected President of the Fifth Republic in 1965, defeating socialist François Mitterrand.

The country has historically been divided into left and right-leaning regions, according to an analysis of ten electoral voting maps. After two years of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, a climate emergency, and now the Ukraine war — the first invasion on European soil since World War II ended – voters will have to decide whether to give President Emmanuel Macron a second opportunity or take a more radical approach.

On April 10, the first round of this year’s presidential elections will take place. On April 24, the top two candidates will compete in a second round.

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, voters had the impression that candidates were not talking about the problems that mattered most to them: purchasing power and high living costs, healthcare, and the battle against climate change.

Every survey has indicated that Macron will meet far-right Marine Le Pen in the second round of the election on April 24. The most recent salvo also confirms this. Thanks to a 13,749-strong sample group, Cevipof – Sciences Po Paris’s centre for political research – has been undertaking the most comprehensive rolling survey of the electorate.

The results of the most recent opinion survey (PDF), which was conducted between March 10 and 14, anticipated the following vote distribution: While Emmanuel Macron has a 29% approval rating, Marine Le Pen, Eric Zemmour , and Jean-Luc Mélenchon have 16%, 13%, and 12% of the vote, respectively. Valérie Pécresse is at 10.5 %, Yannick Jadot at 7%, and Fabien Roussel has a 4% share of the vote. Anne Hidalgo, Jean Lassalle, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Philippe Poutou, and Nathalie Arthaud are estimated to be in the range from 2.5% to 0.5%

Macron, who has also served as President of the European Council since January, has consistently led surveys for years, with a constant base of 35-45 percent of voters ready to vote for him in the first round. For a serving French president, this is an extraordinarily high score.

His most significant challenger appears to be Marine Le Pen, the historic far-right icon seeking a third term. Eric Zemmour and Jean-Luc Mélenchon are not far behind.

Image Macron

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