The coming French elections

by Chris Bertram on April 4, 2022

France is an odd place to be at the moment, because we are two weeks out from a very important Presidential election and you really wouldn’t know it on the street. The regulation posters are there, side-by-side, but otherwise postering and stickering is minimal: I’ve seen more from an obscure Marxist-Leninist sect than I have from the campaign favourite, Emmanuel Macron. And in the little town where I am, there were no campaigners at all at the Saturday market where I’ve seen people demonstrating for all kinds of political causes (most recently the anti-vaxxers) quite regularly.

The current situation is that Macron, the incumbent, is out in front and almost certain to qualify for the second round and that he is likely to joined by far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The challenge from the ultra-right Eric Zemmour has faded badly, but it is just possible that Le Pen might be pipped by the far-left populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon of La France Insoumise. The traditional parties are nowhere with Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist Party candidate, heading for a derisory single-digit score. Yannick Jadot, the Green candidate, who to my mind is the most attractive candidate politically, will also get single digits. The overwhelming victor is likely to be abstention, as apathetic voters just stay at home.
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