Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen. One of these two will be the next President of France. In the first round of voting on Sunday, the centrist Macron narrowly beat the far-right Le Pen by roughly 24% to 22%. Can he repeat this performance in the second round on 7 May?
Macron is widely predicted to beat Le Pen in the next round by an even wider margin, as moderate voters on the left and right rally behind him to see off the nationalist threat. However, this has been an extraordinary election campaign so far; the centre-right candidate, François Fillon, was initially tipped to win, before becoming mired in scandals; now, for the first time in modern French history, no major-party candidate has made it to the presidential runoff. So, a Le Pen victory is certainly not inconceivable.
Marine Le Pen is running on an anti-EU, anti-immigration platform, whereas Macron has positioned himself as pro-business and pro-EU. Both are considered “political outsiders”, and whoever wins it will represent an unprecedented turn of events for the Fifth Republic. Even if they win the presidency, the victorious candidate will still have to secure a majority in the National Assembly at the legislative elections in June.
Who do you think will be the next French president? Will moderate voters on the left and right rally behind Emmanuel Macron? Or are French voters fed-up with liberal policies? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!