The twelve candidates for the presidential election are ending their marathon campaign with a final week that promises to be rich in media appearances, meetings and calls for votes.
The moment of truth is approaching for the presidential candidates who are beginning a final week of campaigning, culminating in evening television broadcasts and a big day of meetings on Thursday.
There is no doubt that the war in Ukraine will still be part of their interventions, after the discovery in Boutcha of numerous corpses of civilians whose murder is attributed to Russian soldiers. In the international chorus of condemnations, the president-candidate Emmanuel Macron denounced, Sunday, April 3, “unbearable” images and affirmed that “the Russian authorities” should “answer for these crimes”.
After a weekend of meetings for a good part of the candidates, including the first and a priori unique of Emmanuel Macron, they are now betting on final meetings to mobilize their voters and convince the undecided. The pollsters indeed fear a very significant abstention after a sluggish campaign, first asphyxiated by the Covid-19 crisis, then engulfed by the war in Ukraine.
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Some 30% of French people could abstain on April 10, a record level for a first round of presidential elections under the Fifth Republic, underlines an Ipsos SopraSteria poll published on Sunday. Stronger expected abstention in households with the lowest incomes, shows this study, while purchasing power is the priority of voters in this campaign.
And if the duel has settled between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the outgoing head of state has stabilized around 27% while the far-right candidate crossed the 20% threshold at the end of March. And the outgoing lead in the second round has narrowed in the margin of error (53% against 47% for Marine Le Pen), now worrying Macronie.
Behind, the LFI candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon takes advantage of a dynamic to settle in third place at some 15%, ahead of Valérie Pécresse (LR) and the other far-right candidate Éric Zemmour (Reconquête!), at the -neck-to-neck around 10%.
Return of the holograms
After a month and a half of campaign at least, Emmanuel Macron is working hard on Monday morning with an interview on France Inter, before another Wednesday on RTL. He should also “multiply field trips”, assured a majority official at the end of the week.
The 12 candidates will follow one another, Tuesday evening, on France 2 for the program “Élysée 2022”, with equal speaking time, while TF1 invites them all, two by two, at the start of the evening over the week.
This will be an opportunity for the “small” candidates Philippe Poutou (NPA), Nathalie Arthaud (LO) and Jean Lassalle (Resist!) to be heard.
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On the meetings side, Jean-Luc Mélenchon returns to the computer-generated images of the 2017 campaign: he will be in the flesh on a stage in Lille, Tuesday evening, and simultaneously in hologram in 11 other cities.
Thursday alone will concentrate five meetings: those of Valérie Pécresse (LR) in Lyon, Marine Le Pen in Perpignan, Fabien Roussel (PCF) in Lille, Philippe Poutou (NPA) in Toulouse, and Yannick Jadot (EELV) in Nantes.
Issue of “useful vote”
“We have one week left to convince, to overturn the table”, and “next Sunday, we are going to lie to all those who explain that the election is over”, launched Valérie Pécresse, at a meeting on Sunday in Paris.
Like others before her, especially on the left, she accused Emmanuel Macron of presenting himself as the only bulwark against the far right to ensure victory in the second round.
After having benefited from the vote of social-democratic voters in 2017, and from the rallying of tenors of the right during his mandate, Emmanuel Macron invited on Saturday “those from social-democracy to Gaullism, via ecologists who do not (the )have not yet joined, to do so”.
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Scathing response from ecologist Yannick Jadot on Twitter: “In 2017, French women and men thought they were electing Rocard, they elected Sarkozy”, and lived through a five-year term of “ecological denial and social regression”.
Emmanuel Macron “don’t even calculate yourself”, launched Anne Hidalgo to her supporters in her meeting in Paris, calling on left-wing voters to “return to their family of origin”. A way to also address those who would be tempted by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s call to “vote useful”, or “vote effective”.
A strategy also rejected by Yannick Jadot and the communist Fabien Roussel who argue that in the first round, it is the vote “of conviction” which must prevail.