Round 2 of the 2022 French presidential election: A tense race to the Élysée Palace
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Round 2 of the 2022 French presidential election: A tense race to the Élysée Palace

(Dan Tri) – At the end of the first round of the French presidential election, Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen entered the next round.

Current French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and rival Marine Le Pen (Photo: AA).

NPR reported that current French President Emmanuel Macron, who hardly campaigned before the first round of voting, started his campaign right on the morning of April 11 after the results of the first round of elections the day before.

Because no candidate achieved an overwhelming percentage of votes, the 2 candidates with the highest number of votes will enter the second round of voting taking place on April 24.

Mr. Macron has two weeks to convince the French to support him continuing in office.

A local resident earnestly told Mr. Macron: `Don’t forget about us whether inside or outside France.`

Results in the first round, Denain voted 41% for Ms. Le Pen, compared to 17% for Mr. Macron.

Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen faced off in the second round election 5 years ago and Mr. Macron won overwhelmingly with 66% of the vote.

Although Mr. Macron was predicted to continue to win in the second round, the margin has narrowed and analysts say that this time Ms. Le Pen has a real chance.

Some analysts say there are three voting blocs: moderates, far-leftists and far-rightists.

On a personal level, Ms. Le Pen has built a more moderate image.

Meanwhile, Mr. Macron is said to have lost more support compared to five years ago.

Ms. Le Pen can expect to attract voters of far-right candidate Mr. Zemmour – who finished fourth with 7% of the vote.

Meanwhile, left-wing candidate Jean Luc Melenchon, who came in third place, just behind Ms. Le Pen, told supporters that `there won’t be any votes for Ms. Le Pen`.

Different visions of the country’s future

Analyst Brice Teinturier shared with France 2 News that the race between Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen is really a confrontation of two different visions of France.

`We have a France of rich people, they are confident that they have high salaries and they vote for Mr. Macron. There is another France with people with low salaries, worried about their future.`

Mr. Martin Quencez, Deputy Director of the German Marshall Fund in Paris, commented that the choice of French voters on April 24 will likely create unpredictable results in France and on the world political stage.

`The vision, especially in foreign policy, that Ms. Le Pen promotes is very different from the vision that Mr. Macron supports,` he said.

Mr. Quencez added that although Ms. Le Pen is trying to normalize her image and remove some of the most controversial slogans from the campaign program, her policy has not really changed.

Mr. Macron is expected to push a message in the next two weeks: voting for Ms. Le Pen means taking France in a dangerous new direction.

A Macron campaign ad shows a face half of Le Pen, half of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a quote from Le Pen in a conversation she had with a journalist on March 31.

`Can Mr. Putin become an ally of the West again?`, the reporter asked.

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