The next head of France
Who will that be?
French voters will decide on the next French president in April next year. There are currently 40 candidates of every political hue in the presidential race.
Just tell me about the favourites.
In the order of the most recent polls:
Emmanuel Macron, 43, incumbent since 2017, head of the centrist party En Marche! Five years ago, he came from nowhere with his “neither right nor left” mantra. That’s how he won votes from both mainstream parties, the Parti Socialiste (PS) and the centre-right party Les Républicains (LR).
Marine Le Pen, 53, far-right, currently 10 points behind Macron, president of the National Rally since 2011. In the 2017 election, she finished second in the first round with 21.3 per cent of the vote and faced Macron in the second round of voting, where she lost (33.9 per cent).
Insertion: The President of the French Republic is elected to a five-year term in a two-round election: if no candidate secures an absolute majority of votes in the first round, a second round is held two weeks later. Only the two candidates with the most votes qualify for that second round. There the candidate with the absolute majority of votes cast is elected.
Éric Zemmour, 63, political journalist, essayist, writer and television pundit. He is mainly talking about immigration, identity and Islam. He also wants to ban “non-French” names such as Mohamed. His nickname: the French Trump. Pollsters say that if he stands, he or Le Pen will face Macron in the second round run-off.
Yannick Jadot, 54, Europe Écologie Les Verts (Europe Ecology/Greens). He has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament since the 2009 European election.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 70, hard left, from the party La France Insoumise (France Unbowed). It’s the third time he has mounted a challenge to lead the country.
Anne Hidalgo, 62, member of the Socialist Party (PS), Mayor of Paris since 2014, she is the first woman to hold the office.
Isn’t there one party missing?
Right. The candidate of the centre-right Les Républicains (LR). A political alternation had seen the Parti Socialiste (PS) or the LR take power for a long time in France. Macron destroyed that alternation. The LR is still struggling with that trauma. A poll of LR’s 80,000 members will be held on 4 December. Promising candidates: Xavier Bertrand, 56, popular ex-minister; Michel Barnier, 70, the EU Brexit negotiator; Valérie Pécresse, 54, president of the Île-de-France (Paris region) council.
So it looks good for Macron, right?
There is still a long way to go. Aside from that: After the first round election, there will probably be a run-off. That changes the situation. In the first round, Le Pen and Zemmour could take votes away from each other. But if one of the two is eliminated after the first round, the other can hope for more votes in the run-off with Macron.
Elections are at the core of any democracy. There is fierce political competition in France. French voters have a wide choice.
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