Who are the candidates for the presidential elections in France?

the french They will go to the polls next Sunday, April 10. to elect its president in elections marked by economic recovery after the pandemic and the current war in Ukraine. In the first round, the electorate will have to decide between the 12 candidates, eight men and four women, who have managed to gather the 500 endorsements necessary to present their candidacy. A wide range of possibilities with different ideological options of which, unless one obtains an absolute majority in the first round, only two will go to a second round to be held on April 24.

the current president, Emmanuel Macron, starts as a favorite with around 28% of voting intentions in the initial round, followed by the far-right leader, Marine Le Pen (20%), and the only candidate from the French left to achieve double figures in the polls, Jean-Luc Mélenchon (15%).

These are the main candidates competing for a place in the second round, ordered by voting intention according to the latest polls.

Emmanuel Macron, candidate and president

Economically liberal centrist and Europeanist, the current president of France was a minister of the socialist François Hollande, but he knew how to leave his predecessor’s government in time and swept his way by presenting himself as the candidate of his own party, La República en Marcha (LREM). Determined dissociate itself from the traditional forces of left and rightvowed to revive France and emerged victorious after facing Le Pen in the second round, becoming the youngest French president in the country’s recent history at 39.

French President Emmanuel Macron running for re-election in the French presidential election REUTERS REUTERS/Vincent West

His mandate has been marked by the movement of the yellow vests, the pandemic, the withdrawal of French troops from Mali and the economic recovery; as well as the new scene of war in europewhich can benefit you to establish yourself as the main european leader after the departure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. After the outbreak of the conflict, Macron put aside the campaign to focus on the war and rose up to six points in the polls, reaching 30%, a figure that, however, seems to be returning to normal.

His team is concerned that it could be harmed by the high level of abstention that is expected for these elections. However, the latest survey published by Ipsos determines that 84% of his electorate considers him to be the definitive choice. Among his proposals is a greater investment in defense, an increase in the retirement age and the promotion of France as first country to come out of dependency of gas, oil and coal.

Marine Le Pen, her third run to the Elysee

After the crash in the regional elections, in which her party did not win any government, the leader of the National Association (RN), ranked second in the polls with around 20% of the vote and is getting closer to Macron. Le Pen has warned that he “does not want to run for the presidential election six times” and that he wants to “win” in the first round.

The candidate of the National Association for the French presidency, Marine Le Pen AFP ROMAIN PERROCHEAU / AFP

bet on one harsh immigration policy, for the eradication of Islamism and maintains a critical stance against the European Union, although it has retracted its objective of removing the country from the group of Twenty-seven. Looking ahead to next Sunday, he is leading a less radical campaign focused in the main concern of the French, acquisitive powerwhich has increased due to the context of the current economic crisis.

Le Pen He followed in his father’s footsteps from a very young age., the former president and founder of his party, formerly known as the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen. She rose as president of the formation in 2011 and launched herself into the race for Elíseo a year later, obtaining 17.9% of the votes in the first round of the elections that raised Holland as president. next sunday it will be his third attempt for rising to victory in a presidential election.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the singing voice of the weakened French left

The candidate of Francia Insumisa was a senator and minister of the Socialist Party, from which he distanced himself to form a movement further to the left, the Left Party, which merged with its current formation in 2016. In what is his third candidacy for the French presidency, part as favorite among the left optionsbeing the only one that reaches two figures in the polls.

The candidate of France Insumisa, Jean-Luc Melenchon AFP Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

According to surveys, Melénchon has experienced a growth in voting intention in recent months and, in fact, he has snatched third place from the right-winger Zemmour in just two weeks. The latest results give him 15% of the votes, which represents an increase of 5 points compared to the figures from the beginning of the year, however, it seems difficult for him to reach the 19.6% he obtained in the 2017 presidential elections.

Melénchon, who is committed to France’s exit from NATO “in stages” and opposes sending weapons to Ukraine, seeks the vote of the “popular neighborhoods”, as well as mobilize a divided leftist electorate that allows him to opt for a comeback. To do this, he calls for a “useful vote” moved by the hope of being present in a second round and breaking with the scenario predicted by the polls.

Éric Zemmour, scourge of immigrants and rival for Le Pen

The rise of the extreme right in France has led to having two candidates with remarkable strength in these elections. Marine Le Pen competes with Éric Zemmour, a French journalist and essayist known for his participation in important national radio and television programs that joins the race to the elysee for the first time with his new Reconquista! party, formed in December 2021.

The presidential candidate and president of the Reconquista! formation, Éric Zemmour AFP JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

Always surrounded by controversy, Zemmour has behind him several convictions for inciting racial hatred, defends radical positions regarding Islam and promotes the “great replacement” theory, by which, he says, Muslim immigrants will eventually replace the populations of European countries. Support for the leader of Reconquista! grew at the end of 2021, however, it has faded, especially after the start of the war in Ukraine.

Even so, it is expected that he can still scratch a vote from Le Pen. As established by the latest survey published by Ipsos, 24% of the French who voted for the National Grouping candidate in the first round of the last presidential elections have expressed their intention to vote for Zemmour next Sunday.

Valérie Pécresse, the Gaullist right

The candidate of the Los Republicanos (LR) party, who is in command of the Paris Île de France region since 2015, she was an adviser to Jacques Chirac and held ministerial positions in the Sarkozy government. After leaving the party in 2019 to form her own movement, she returned last October, being chosen months later in the LR primaries as a presidential candidate.


at the beginning of the year stood as a tough competitor against Macron, but it has dropped as much as seven points in the polls since January. Among his proposals, Pécresse defends approving annual immigration quotas and “strengthening” the conditions for acquiring French nationality, raising retirement to 65 years or increasing the defense budget up to 2% of GDP.

After the crash of his predecessor, François Fillon, who started as the favorite in the polls for the presidential elections of 2917 before corruption cases marred his political career, Pécresse seeks to attract the lost electorate. According to the latest data from Ipsos, 31% of Fillon voters in 2017 who have expressed their intention to vote next Sunday will do so for Macron, 29% will vote for Pécresse and 23% for Zemmour.

Yannick Jadot, the candidate of the greens

The political group Europe Ecology The Greens (EELV) has opted for the MEP Yannick Jadotwho began his career as an activist in Greenpeace to become fully involved in politics in 2008. In 2017 he was already elected as a presidential candidate by his party, although he left to lend his support to the socialist candidate, Benoît Hamon.

The candidate of the French environmentalist party for the presidency of France, Yannick Jadot AFP STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP)

In the last European elections, his party gathered 13.5% of the vote and won third place, behind Agrupación Nacional and República en Marcha. Later, in the municipal elections, held in June 2020, the post-covid context also benefited the environmentalist party, which entered the government of cities such as Marseille, Lyon or Paris.

The polls predict sixth place for the presidential elections, with a intention to vote around 5%. Among his proposals, Jadot defends leaving nuclear energy responsibly, raising the minimum wage, sending weapons to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia.

Fabien Roussel and the French Communist Party

Unlike past elections, in which the formation was not directly represented and supported Melénchon’s candidacy, on this occasion the historic French Communist Party, founded in 1920, will be represented by the French journalist and politician, Fabien Roussel.

The French Communist Party (PCF) candidate for the 2022 presidential election, Fabien Roussel AFP Thomas COEX / AFP

However, the National Secretary of the PCF since 2018 does not have encouraging figures in the polls. Although it exceeds the Socialist Party, forecasts place it at around 3% in voting intentions.

Like other left-wing candidates, Roussel has expressed his desire to get France out of NATO “when the conflict in Ukraine is resolved” and has defended dialogue with the Russian president to make him withdraw troops from Ukraine.

Jean Lassalle, defender of the rural world

Member of a family of shepherds, at the age of 21, the agricultural technician Lassalle became mayor of his town. Later, after a long career at the local level, he became a deputy in 2002. In 2016 created the formation that represents in these presidential electionsResistamos, a movement that is committed to the defense of the rural world and ecology.

The presidential candidate of the Resistamos! party, Jean Lassalle AFP Thomas COEX / AFP

It is the second time that it is presented to a presidential election; in 2017 he got 1.21% of the votes. Among his proposals, the withdrawal of France from NATO, the strengthening of ties with overseas territories or the legalization of cannabis.

Anne Hidalgo and the fall of French socialism

Current mayor of Paris, and the first woman to hold office, Anne Hidalgo is the candidate of a declining Socialist Party (PS). After the mandate of François Holland, the worst valued of the leaders of the Fifth Republic, in the 2017 elections the socialist bet, Benoît Hamon, obtained just over 6% of the votes in the first round. A result that, according to the polls, will not improve Hidalgo.

The mayor of Paris and candidate for the Socialist Party in the French presidential elections, Anne Hidalgo AFP Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP

The mayor renewed her second mandate in Paris by virtue of the promotion of ecological policies and the reduction of traffic in the city, but his candidacy does not seem to convince at the national level. According to the latest polls, Hidalgo would barely reach 2% of the votes in the first round, and would be only ahead of far-right Nicolas Dupont-Aignan and far-left candidates Philippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud.


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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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