Presidential elections in France – all you need to know right now

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The French head of state will be elected in April. All you need to know about the French presidential election at a glance.

PARIS – The presidential elections in France are approaching. French voters will go to the polls on April 10, 2022. Unlike Germany, the head of state of the French nation is directly elected by the people entitled to vote. All citizens over the age of 18 who are registered on electoral rolls are allowed to vote. According to Al Jazeera Arabic news channel, about 48 million people are entitled to vote.

Only those who obtain an absolute majority of votes in the first ballot become president. If this does not work, a run-off election will be held on April 24, 2022 between the two candidates who have obtained the most votes by then. Since 1965, the decision has not been made on the first ballot, but only in the run-off.

Presidential elections in France: these are the candidates

In order to run for French elections, there are a number of challenges that must be overcome. Currently, they have to collect 500 signatures from elected representatives, such as parliamentarians or mayors, who support the candidacy.

The signatures had to be ratified by France’s highest court by 4 March 2022. A total of twelve candidates had successfully run for the presidential election in France in 2022 and are contesting it:

  • Emmanuel Macron (The Republic in the Marche)
  • Marine Le Pen (National Rally)
  • Jean-Luc Melenchon (La France insoumise)
  • Nicolas Dupont Aignan (Debout la France)
  • Philippe Puteaux (Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste)
  • Natalie Artaud (Lote Aufrière)
  • Anne Hidalgo (Socialist Party)
  • Yannick Gadot (Ecology of Europe – Les Virts)
  • Jean LaSalle (Resistors)
  • Valerie Pecres (The Republic)
  • Fabian Roussel (Parti Communiste Français)
  • Eric Zemmour (Reconquete)

France 2022 elections: Here’s what the polls say

So far, there has been a clear trend in survey values. French voters expect to face incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the face of the far-right National Rally party, in the run-off on April 24, 2022.

The Cevipof Center for Political Research of Sciences Po Paris interviewed 13,749 people in the context of the presidential election. The poll was conducted between March 10-14, 2022. The results show that Macron in particular is in the lead. 29 percent of voters would give him or her his or her vote. Le Pen, entering the competition for the third time, has 16 percent.

A supporter of the ruling La République en Marche party publishes campaign posters for the French president and the movement’s candidate for the re-election of Emmanuel Macron in the western city of Rennes. © Damien Meyer/AFP

2022 French presidential election: Macron-Le Pen duel is emerging

There was already a duel between Macron and Le Pen in the last presidential election in 2017. In the first round of elections, the favorite Macron, who was then a newcomer to politics, and Le Pen could not convince. Accordingly, they entered the run-off on May 7, 2017. After a television debate, in which Macron won, he won the run-off with 66.1 percent. Le Pen received only 33.9 percent of the vote. Emmanuel Macron became president of France for the first time.

After Macron and Lynn Bean, according to recent polls, Eric Zemmour is third with 13 percent. Zemmour was forced to lose a few voters because of his pro-Russian stance. “Dramaic events like wars weaken the nominations, who have little political capital. Zemmour is a newcomer to politics and he made a huge mistake when he said he would not take in Ukrainian refugees. It made him appear Heartless.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, often referred to as the left’s last hope, follows closely behind on the popularity scale at 12 percent. Valerie Pecres, president of the Ile-de-France regional council and conservative politician, has 10.5 percent of the vote. All of the other 12 candidates are well below 10 percent of the poll vote:

  • Yannick Gadot – 7%
  • Fabian Russell – 4 per cent
  • Ann Hidalgo, 2.5 per cent
  • Jean LaSalle – 2 percent
  • Nicholas Dupont Aignan – 2 percent
  • Philip Bhutto – 1.5 per cent
  • Natalie Orthod – 0.5 per cent

France 2022 elections: Ukraine war affects poll numbers

The fallout from the Ukraine war also affected France’s 2022 elections. “The war in Ukraine put the candidates’ proposals on important issues at the center of discussions,” Al Jazeera quoted Laurie Cometti, a veteran political journalist, as saying. Issues such as the dependence of France and the European Union on Russian food and energy supplies were addressed. This goes well with the voters.

Previous opinion polls and the mood in France point to a run-off between Macron and Le Pen. One thing is for sure: “The current context speaks of Macron,” says Cometti. The incumbent president benefits from the fact that voters know how to handle crises. A good example of this is the Corona pandemic and the preservation of the French economy.

Emmanuel Macron, with his pro-European and progressive message, was able to win over center-left voters who used to vote for the Socialist Party. On the economic front, pursue pro-business policies to lure voters away from the right,” Hugo Drochon, professor of political theory at the University of Nottingham, told Al Jazeera news channel. Meanwhile, “a new chasm has opened up between the center and the extremists.” This has hurt the traditional parties on both the left and the right,” Droshon added.

It remains to be seen how the first round of voting in France will end on April 10, 2022 and whether far-right Marine Le Pen will indeed be Macron’s rival in the subsequent run-off. (cheese)

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