French voters are now called to the polls again to choose the future President of France in a second round that, as in 2017, is disputed by centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Paris, France | In the first round, held on April 10, Macron, the outgoing president, was the most voted of the 12 candidates in the race, getting 27.85% of the votes, followed by Le Pen, with 23.15%, according to the official results. Across the country, some 48.7 million French voters are called to vote. Voters can vote at the polls between 08:00 local time (one hour less in Lisbon) and 19:00 (18:00 in Lisbon) in most parts of the country and until 20:00 (19:00 in Lisbon) in big cities. Also in Portugal, 16,023 registered voters will be able to exercise their right to vote in French diplomatic representations in three cities: Lisbon, Porto and Faro. In 2017, the total number of voters in Portugal was around 14,000.
The electoral campaign for this second round was marked by the only televised debate between the two political rivals.
The purchasing power of the French, the war in Ukraine, the management of the covid-19 pandemic, security or immigration were some of the themes that dominated the debate between presidential candidates who, according to most opinion studies carried out shortly after face-to-face, was won by the current French President.
In direct contact with voters, the two candidates dramatized the speech and launched all possible efforts to win, above all, the votes of supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon (radical left), who in the first round of the elections was the third most voted ( 22%), and mobilize abstentionists.
In the final stretch of the campaign, Macron received strong support, with the prime ministers of Portugal and Spain and the German chancellor calling for a vote on the French ruler, arguing that France must remain on the side of Europe’s values.
“The second round of the French presidential elections cannot be ‘business as usual’ for us. The choice facing the French people is crucial – for France and for each of us in Europe. It is the choice between a democratic candidate, who believes that France’s strength grows in a powerful and autonomous European Union, and a far-right candidate, who openly sides with those who attack our freedom and our democracy – values based on French ideas of the Enlightenment”, they defended, on Thursday, António Costa, Pedro Sanchez and Olaf Scholz, in a joint article published in several European newspapers.
Speaking to Lusa on arrival in the city of Figeac, Macron told Lusa that the appeal made by the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, to vote for him in the second round of the elections is “very important, individually and between the two countries”. . “I want to thank my friend Costa, who was terrific.
António was lovely, and I was very moved”, said the centrist candidate in the city of the Lot region, in southwest France, where the candidate’s last rally before the second round took place.
The latest polls show that Emmanuel Macron has between 10 and 15% advantage in voting intentions over Marine Le Pen. The poll with the greatest distance between the current president and the far-right leader is the study prepared by the Ipsos-Sopra Steria cabinet for Franceinfo radio and for the newspaper “Le Parisien”, with Macron reaching 57% of the voting intention. and Le Pen at 43%.
Alongside domestic issues, the outcome of the presidential election in France will have international implications, at a time when the world is witnessing conflict in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. France is the second economy in the 27-member bloc of the European Union (EU), the only one with a veto in the UN Security Council and its only nuclear power.
The country currently holds the biannual presidency of the Council of the EU.
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