Macron arch-favorite one month before the presidential election

One month before the first round of the presidential election in France, Emmanuel Macron, driven by his involvement in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, appears to be an arch-favorite to his own succession, but is careful not to be triumphant.

• Read also: Macron campaigning against 11 candidates, in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine

• Read also: France: President Macron announces that he is a candidate for a second term

• Read also: Emmanuel Macron, a president extolled or hated

Already well ahead for months in the polls, he soars following the announcement of his candidacy a week ago, with some 30% of the voting intentions.

Among its eleven competitors, four appear capable of advancing to the second round: the two representatives of the far right, Marine Le Pen and the ex-polemicist Éric Zemmour, the right-wing candidate Valérie Pécresse and the deputy Jean-Luc Mélenchon for the radical left.

All opinion polls give him re-election regardless of his opponent in the second round on 24th April.

The candidate, however, himself warned his troops against any “arrogance”, a reproach which is often addressed to him by his detractors.

“The coming weeks are decisive,” he said on Wednesday, before some 300 parliamentarians and majority figures gathered in Paris, according to his remarks reported to AFP by several participants.


“We have everything to lose”, he warned, considering that “demobilization is the worst risk”, according to the same sources.

For the time being, there is on the contrary “an effect of the Ukrainian crisis on the remobilization of voters”, from which the head of state logically benefits, comments to AFP Jérémie Peltier, director of studies at the Jean Jaures based in Paris.

Losing momentum, Valérie Pécresse notes “a legitimist reflex towards the President of the Republic”, deploring that “the war in Ukraine crushes everything”.

“Never have the stakes been so high,” summed up François Hollande, Emmanuel Macron’s socialist predecessor, citing “defence, Europe, the energy model, purchasing power”, or the fight against inequality. “And never these debates will undoubtedly surface during all this month”, he lamented.

The outgoing president refuses any debate before the first round, scheduled for April 10, citing the example of his predecessors, and “prefers the debate with the French” to rallies in front of a conquered public.

In response, François Hollande like Xavier Bertrand, one of the leaders of Ms. Pécresse’s campaign, offered her to successively face each of her potential opponents in the second round.

“We cannot have an election which would be a form of extension (without debate, editor’s note), the awakening would be terrible”, estimated Mr. Bertrand.

“We have been a country in turmoil for years and years”, he underlined, in particular with reference to the popular protest movement of “yellow vests”, in 2018-2019, triggered by a rise in fuel prices, which are on the rise again due to the invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia.

But Jérémie Peltier relativizes the risk of a lack of legitimacy for Emmanuel Macron in the event of re-election in such exceptional circumstances.

“Some will say that it is not an election, but a reappointment, a bit like when you reappoint a company director to a board of directors”, he says, “but at the end legitimacy comes despite everything from a ballot”.

The campaign “is struggling to start and, no doubt, it will be very short as were the campaigns for the regional last year and the municipal ones in 2020”, explains to AFP the pollster Frédéric Dabi.

“As Emmanuel Macron will remain in overhang,” he analyzes, “the crystallization of the vote will take place relatively late. There may still be volatility from one electorate to another”.

Leave a Comment