While the presidential campaign officially ends Friday at midnight, the tension is rising a notch for the 12 candidates for the Élysée, who continue to mobilize on the ground. They will all have to meet two major challenges: abstention and undecided voters.
The presidential candidates are multiplying on all grounds Thursday, April 7, the penultimate day of the campaign three days before an election which sees the gap narrow between the two favorites, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
For the 12 contenders for the Élysée, two major challenges are in order before the official end of the campaign on Friday at midnight: mobilizing their supporters when abstention could approach or exceed the 2002 record (28.4%) and go look for the many undecided, who represent a third of those sure to vote.
Sunday’s election takes place in a very tense international context, with the war in Ukraine and its repercussions, which have very concrete effects on the daily life of the French, with soaring energy and food prices. The election is also being held against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Late in the campaign and after being very mobilized by the situation in Ukraine, the presidential candidate, always given as the favorite with around 27% of the voting intentions in the first round, and given victorious in the second round by the polls, was in the morning in front of the readers of the daily newspaper Today in France – Le Parisien.
On Wednesday evening, he promised to index pensions to inflation “from this summer” while reaffirming that the pension reform should be carried out “in the fall”.
“Our objective is first of all to consolidate our lead, to prevent her (Marine Le Pen) from being ahead in the first round,” a member of the presidential majority told AFP.
“It’s not because Marine Le Pen has wrapped herself in a cloak of banality for a few months that she has changed in depth, she remains the representative of an extreme right in France, but above all, she is someone who claims to be President of the Republic by proposing anything and everything,” Christophe Castaner, leader of LREM deputies, told Sud Radio.
In his program, the outgoing president promises lower taxes and the return of full employment. But the campaign between the two rounds for a possible Macron-Le Pen duel, a remake of 2017 with a much tighter given score, “is going to be very violent. -he adds.
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For her part, the far-right candidate, who has worked hard to smooth her image even if her project remains also “radical” on the migratory and institutional level, is holding her last meeting in the largest stronghold of the RN, in Perpignan.
His former companion and vice-president of the party, Louis Aliot is the only RN mayor to lead a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants by having defeated a “republican front” organized by the outgoing mayor LR.
In full swing in the polls in recent days, around 21/22%, Marine Le Pen wants to mobilize a largely popular electorate, faced with the threat of abstention which could be particularly important in the lower classes.
Determined to invite himself to the second round, the rebellious candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, up around 16% of voting intentions, is also working hard.
LFI multiplies public meetings, at least one in each department.
A notch below, the ecologist Yannick Jadot will be traveling to Nantes, where he will hold his last meeting in the evening.
LR candidate Valérie Pécresse and her far-right rival Éric Zemmour (Reconquest!), both around 8/9% after starting from much higher, are fighting a fierce battle for a recomposition in their camp. The first will hold a public meeting in the evening in Lyon, the second a meeting in Paris.
“You saw me stumble in this campaign, because it was my first campaign, because I made mistakes, but you also saw me get up,” argued Thursday morning Valérie Pécresse on CNews.
Around or below the fateful 5% bar, which determines the reimbursement of campaign expenses, the communist Fabien Roussel will be meeting in Lille, the socialist Anne Hidalgo in Rouen and, for the far left, Philippe Poutou (NPA) in Toulouse .
Anne Hidalgo will call “in any case to block the far right” in the second round, she indicated Thursday on France 2, while in the Socialist Party, we think more and more of the post-presidential .
“The PS of Épinay is coming to the end of its history,” admitted a campaign executive, suggesting profound changes on the left after the ax on Sunday.