A bitter end to the campaign in France

Just returned from Ukraine, President Emmanuel Macron pleaded for the unity of France on Friday on the last day of the campaign for the second round of the general elections where he is playing his parliamentary majority and, beyond that, his ability to govern.

• Read also: Legislative in France: Macron calls for a “solid” majority

In contrast, the leader of the radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon warned against a “mess” if the French do not decide clearly on Sunday, encouraging them to vote.

On D-2, the French president said he was coming back “concentrated, marked” by what he saw in Ukraine the day before, pleading in this interview with the BFMTV channel the need “for a truly European France which can talk about a clear and distinct voice.

The oppositions have not ceased since Tuesday to reproach him for his absence from French soil for this trip to Romania and Moldova and then to the country at war in the middle of the electoral campaign.

“He considered that the general elections were a formality”, lamented Friday Jean-Luc Mélenchon who took the head of an unprecedented alliance of parties of the left coming to threaten the majority of Mr. Macron in the National Assembly.

The controversy took a turn all the more virulent as the president had dramatized the issue just before taking off on Tuesday, warning against “extreme” which would sow “disorder” in France.

“The president is in his role” and “I am in action here, (…) thoroughly on the ground”, affirmed for her part on Friday Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, herself a candidate, urging voters to give “a solid majority” to Mr. Macron on Sunday.

The campaign ends Friday at midnight on a sour tone, the camp of President Macron (Together!) and the left alliance of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Nupes), arrived neck and neck in the first round on June 12 , fighting a fierce battle.

The issue of the second round is whether two months after his re-election on April 24 for a second five-year term, the Head of State will have an absolute or simple majority in the National Assembly at the end of the ballot.

Beyond that, Emmanuel Macron plays his plans for in-depth reforms of France, on pensions in particular.

For his part, Mr. Mélenchon cherishes the hope, if his alliance wins on Sunday, of becoming prime minister.


This scenario seems very unlikely, but the latest polls published on Friday suggest that Emmanuel Macron may not obtain an absolute majority in the National Assembly.

According to the Ipsos barometer, Together! comes in first with 265 to 305 deputies, without any certainty of obtaining an absolute majority of 289 seats. Another Elabe institute gives 255 to 295 seats for the Macron camp.

On the Nupes side (New popular, ecological and social union), Ipsos provides for 140 to 180 deputies. Elabe is more optimistic, with 150 to 200 elected.

“It all depends on the dynamics of the campaign, the abstention and the carryover of votes”, explains to AFP the president of the Elabe institute, Bernard Sananès.

“You have to go vote. (…) If you do not cut clean what you want, it will be a mess for months, “said Mr. Mélenchon, addressing young people in particular.

Because, as in the first round where one in two French people shunned the ballot box, abstention promises to be massive again on Sunday.

In this funny campaign, the climate subject, largely absent until then, was invited into the strong debate of an exceptional heat wave in France.

Mr. Mélenchon attacked the “climate inaction” – the French State has been condemned twice by the courts – of Emmanuel Macron who believes, according to him, “that the market will settle everything”.

Among the stakes of the ballot: a third bloc made up of the far-right formation of Marine Le Pen hopes to reach the bar of 15 elected to form a group in the National Assembly.

It would only be the second time in the history of the party, for which the two-round majority voting system is not favorable.

“We will be combative deputies, hoping that Emmanuel Macron will become a minority president,” said Ms. Le Pen campaigning in her stronghold in northern France, also calling on the French to vote.

The classic right is counting on around sixty deputies to play the arbiters in the future National Assembly.

And several ministers including Clément Beaune (Europe) or Amélie de Montchalin (Ecological Transition) are playing their political future in tight races in the Paris region.

The French outside metropolitan France, in territories such as the Antilles in particular or residing abroad, vote on Saturday.


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