Who could thwart Macron’s candidacy for a second term?


Official campaign posters of French presidential candidates are seen on billboards near the town hall in Appilly, France, April 6, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

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PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron is the favorite to be re-elected in a two-round poll on April 10 and 24.

But after a first term mired in social unrest – during which he took steps to liberalize labor law in France, cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations and tried to reconfigure transatlantic relations – the margins are much wider. tighter than the beatings he inflicted on the distant right of Marine Le Pen in 2017.

Here is an overview of the main scenarios for the second deciding round of the election:

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MOST LIKELY: MACRON – LE PEN

Le Pen is the candidate most likely to face Macron in a runoff. She surged in the polls as she backtracks on her more pugnacious rhetoric and delivers a simple message to voters: I’m putting money back in your pockets. Read more

Le Pen’s ratings suggest she’s managed to de-demonize her far-right party’s image, without actually changing its core, anti-immigration platform.

Polls show she won up to 23% of first-round voting intentions.

In a runoff against Macron, polls predict she could get as much as 47% to 48.5%, putting victory within the statistical margin of error. The abstentions and the undecided could surprise.

SURPRISE SCENARIO? MACRON-MELENCHON

Jean-Luc Melenchon, from the far left, is third in the polls and ranks higher. His supporters are hoping for a surprise.

As the traditional centre-left Socialist Party verges on irrelevance and the Greens struggle to galvanize a broad base of support, Melenchon called on left-leaning voters to rally behind him. Read more

He now votes 14%-17% in voter support polls compared to 9%-10% in January for the first round. Polls see Macron easily beating him if he makes it to the second round.

IMPROBABLE: MACRON – ZEMMOUR

The rise last year of Eric Zemmour, a talk show star who channels former US President Donald Trump’s anti-establishment style as he portrays himself as the potential savior of a nation under threat perception of Islam, upset the early electoral race.

Last year, some surveys showed Zemmour made it to the second round, but his support has slipped as he struggles to formulate ideas beyond immigration and security and has been hurt by his comments on Russia.

But opinion polls now show it with 9 to 11% of the vote in the first round, far behind Le Pen and Mélenchon.

Macron would comfortably beat Zemmour in the second round, according to the polls.

IMPROBABLE: MACRON – PECRESSE

Paris region boss Valérie Pécresse, who describes herself as part Margaret Thatcher, part Angela Merkel, won the conservative Les Républicains ticket in December, giving her a boost in the polls. ‘opinion.

However, she has seen her campaign falter as she struggles to distance herself from Macron while countering the nationalist agendas offered by her far-right rivals.

Recent opinion polls show that she won only 8-10% of the vote in the first round.

HIGHLY LIKELY: MACRON OUT OF THE RACE

No opinion poll sees Macron failing to qualify for the second round on April 24.

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Reporting by Richard Lough and Ingrid Melander, editing by Peter Graff, Timothy Heritage, William Maclean and Nick Macfie

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