The French live a day of reflection this Saturday. Booking time before choosing. Last midnight he concluded the campaign for the first round of the presidential elections. Want the most aspiring Elysée Palaceabbreviation for him The president Emanuele Macrontorn between the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The two crises, added to the growing apathy in Western societies, will lead to tomorrow Sunday a first round threatened by a first danger: abstention. Estimates for the April 10 vote predict a turnout that could be even lower than the lowest ever recorded.
Moreover, the mistakes or misadventures of centrist Emmanuel Macron would mark another risk. At least that’s what the polls predict. Never has the far right come so close to presiding over the first judiciary. In particular, Marine Le Penthe candidate of National Grouping, even a candidate with public ties to Vladimir Putin comes after significantly narrowing the gap. In his third nomination, the idea of a second round victory no longer seems crazy.
The gap between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen has also narrowed. The outgoing president lost the lead he gained at the start of the war in Ukraine and sees voting intentions in his favor decline (26%, -2 points this week, -4 from mid-March), according to majority public opinion polls .
The invasion of Ukraine is disappearing as a central axis among the French, with purchasing power, inflation and the deterioration of their welfare state being their major concerns. The war, in fact, at the time of the vote (today 11th place, after having occupied 5th place at the beginning of March), meant that Emmanuel Macron saw his role as leader in France and in Europe diluted, at least in the management of crisis.
For the president, the five-year period that is ending has been absolutely stormy. Significant and structuring events, such as the “yellow vests” movement, the lockdowns due to Covid 19, the Islamist assassination of Samuel Paty and finally a war, even when France must preside over the European Council, were disturbing for the effervescence of a company that seeks solutions to its daily needs.
Everything contributes so that the abstention can be historic. In 2017, during the first round of the presidential elections, 77.8% of the French registered on the electoral lists went to vote. This year the abstention should be higher: the participation rate was estimated, this Friday, at 71%.
If confirmed, the data will be alarming for the Fifth Republic. Less than two out of three young people under 35 (58%) want to vote tomorrow, Sunday. Even when young people have shown a preference for leftist candidates, their absenteeism could harm the best of these candidates and, on the rise, Jean-Luc Melenchon. One third of the electorate of this leftist candidate, a very fragmented political sector in the country, is made up of young people of this age group (34%). On the contrary, the young “macronists” are the most numerous to express their intention to vote (81%), closely followed by the other leader of the far right, the former television polemicist, Eric Zemmour (79%).
For the first “tour”, as the French call the first round, the polls mostly agree on the projections. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, as in the 2017 presidential election, will again occupy the top two positions. Published last Friday, polls, such as that of Ifop, predict a voting intention of 26% for the president and 24% for his far-right opponent. In third place would be, with 17%, the leader of the populist left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
another conclusion, If the polls sound early, it is that the formations, Socialist Party, with Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris at the head, and the Republican Party, Valérie Pécresse, head of the Île-de-France region, would practically disappearor at least they would have a show never seen before.
What will happen in the second round? If the signs of the first meeting materialize, Macron and Le Pen will arrive on Sunday 24 April, although Jean-Luc Melenchon insists that this first meeting is not closed. But for any conclusion, it will be necessary to see how volatile the electorate is.
After several months of electoral campaign, the movements observed in recent days are generating doubts among voters. More than half of them (57%) believe that nothing is decided and admit that they do not yet know who will win this election. This figure increased by 13 points in two weeks and as much as 18 points in a month, while the majority considered that the bet was made on March 25 (55%).
So, on this basis, Although Macron would win round two with 52% to Le Pen’s 48%, the difference is too close to be conclusive., analysts estimate. Five years ago the head of state got 66%; his rival, Le Pen, 34%.
During these last hours, before the polls open tomorrow, the National Commission for the Control of the Electoral Campaign for Presidential Elections, the CNCCEP and the Electoral Commission, in a press release of 4 April, recalled the ban on publishing and broadcasting the polls the day before and the day of the first and second tour. In this press release it is also recalled that the main electoral institutes will not carry out “exit” polls.
“The Electoral Commission obtained from the eight main electoral institutes (BVA, Elabe, Harris Interactive, Ifop, Ipsos, Kantar, Odoxa, OpinionWay,) the certainty that none of them will conduct the polls on April 10 ‘out of the polls’, remember the National Commission for the Control of the Electoral Campaign for Presidential Elections (CNCCEP).
Finally, during this “reserve” period, it was recalled that from Friday evening, Elysée candidates are prohibited from disseminating any election propaganda, poll or election results, so as not to influence the vote. This rule also applies to the media. The dissemination of surveys during this booking period is sanctioned with a fine of up to 75,000 euros.