This Sunday, April 10, France goes to the polls to elect its future president. The polls for the first round suggest that the current president, Emmanuel Macron, and the candidate for the National Group, Marine Le Pen, will repeat the duel of five years ago in the second round. Both candidates exceed 20% in voting intention and are very far from the rest of the candidates.
Macron exceeds 27% vote intention, according to the average of surveys prepared by DatosRTVE from the main French surveys. He would be the winner of the first round, although he has lost support since his high point, in mid-March, when his performance as European leader in the face of the war in Ukraine propelled him towards 30%.
Le Penon the other hand, shows a upward trend in recent weeks and stands slightly above 20% on average, although the most recent polls give him up to 23% support. Despite his links with Vladimir Putin, he has been able to focus his speech on the economy and on defending the purchasing power of the French, the issue that most worries voters in this campaign.
Mélenchon, the only one who can surprise
In third place is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a candidate for La Francia Insumisa, a radical left-wing party that would win a 15% in the first round, according to the average of surveys. In recent weeks, he has gained support and his supporters still hold out hope that he will make it to the second round.
His take off coincides with the throwback by Eric Zemmour, the candidate who competes with Le Pen for the space of the extreme right. The far-right candidate managed to exceed 15%, but the latest polls place him in fourth position, with around 10% of the vote. In any case, adding the voting intention of Le Pen and Zemmour, the radical right aims to exceed 30% in the first round, an unprecedented result in the presidential elections.
The rest of the candidates seem already ruled out, since only Valerie Pecresse, leader of the center-right party The Republicans, is close to 10% of voting intentions. Below her, the ecologist Yannick Jadot remains at 6% and the candidate of the Socialist Party, Anne Hidalgobarely collects 2%.
The second round, much tighter than in 2017
The forecasts, in any case, must be interpreted in light of the high abstention that is expected in the first round, more than 30%, a threshold that has never been reached in the Fifth Republic. And uncertainty is high even among those who say they will vote: 28% admit that they could still change the direction of their vote.
The prediction for the second round is even more complicated. Nevertheless, the duel between Macron and Le Pen is the most likely: all the polls give Emmanuel Macron the winner against any of his possible rivals, although his distance with Marine Le Pen has narrowed in recent days. Most polls give him a six to eight point lead; some reduce it to just three.
Less likely are other matchups in that second round. Among other rivals, the duels appear much more unbalanced: the current president would comfortably beat Mélenchon and Zemmour, while Le Pen would also defeat Mélenchon.
In 2017, Macron almost doubled Le Pen’s votes and took a 33-point lead in the second round, so the final result is much closer this year and it cannot even be ruled out that the far-right candidate will win, which which would mean a political earthquake in France and in the whole of the European Union.