France chooses between Macron and Le Pen

The polling stations have opened at 8:00 a.m. in the France continent for the second round of the presidential elections, with the duel between the candidate for re-election, Emmanuel Macronand the applicant Marine LePen. As happened in 2017, both face each other in a direct duel with more uncertainty than five years agowhen the current president achieved a comfortable victory that could be repeated this Sunday, although with a narrower margin, according to the polls.

If then Macron doubled his rival in votes (66.1% compared to 33.90%), the latest polls published on Friday gave him the winner with a range of between 53.5 and 57.5% of the votes, although the number of undecided is high. In addition, a high rate of abstention is expected, which could be even higher than that of the first round, when one in four registered in the census did not go to the polls.

Almost 49 million French people are called to designate who will be the tenant of the Elysee in a jornada that will culminate at 8:00 p.m.when the last schools close, those in the big cities, an hour after the rest do.

It is expected that at that time the demographic institutes will divulge estimates from actual vote count which will have begun in a series of tables considered as a whole representative of the entire country. So, unless the result is very tight, those estimates will since then allow us to know the winner.

Marine Le Pen has voted shortly after 11.10 in the morning (9.10 GMT) in his electoral stronghold of Henin Beaumonta small town near the Belgian border in the north of the country.

The far-right leader went to the polling station accompanied by the mayor of Hénin Beaumont, Steeve Briois, which is from his party, the National Association (RN). During the minutes that preceded his arrival at the polling station, she was greeting the public that she met on the street.

Emmanuel Macron is expected at noon in Le Touquet (Pas-de-Calais), where he usually votes.

Greater involvement in the second round

Unlike what he did at the beginning of the campaign, Macron for this second round has been fully involved and has managed to expand the mattress with respect to Le Pen, according to the polls.

The president, who aspires to be the first to revalidate his mandate without having had a cohabitation (a government of a different political color than his), has warned in recent days of the risk of overconfidence, which can lead to a surprise that he has compared with that of the rBrexit vote in 2015 in the UK or with the election of Donald Trump in the United States the following year.

In the last fifteen days, he has made an effort to underline the risks that the election of Le Pen would entailwhich in his opinion would fracture French society with its attacks on immigrants or with its project to ban the Islamic headscarf in the streets, and which would mean France leaving the European Union, because it would make national law prevail over community law and would cut the French contribution to the budget.

The far-right candidate has also played the attack, with harsh accusations of Macron’s plan to delay the retirement age until 65 years and with criticism of his “arrogant” and “haughty” attitude.

She herself has presented herself as the spokesperson for the people, she has defended her tax reductions on fuel and a hundred basic products to counteract inflation and has promised to protect the French against globalization, unlike his rival, whom he accuses of being “the candidate of the elites”.

A strategy that has placed closer than ever to victorybut according to the polls still below 50% of the votes.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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