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🇫🇷 French 🇫🇷 Presidential Election: Live Updates and News (10 April 2022)

Tender Branson

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PARIS — France began voting on Sunday in the first round of an election that has come alive in the past two weeks as Marine Le Pen, the perennial far-right candidate, has steadily cut the polling lead of the incumbent, President Emmanuel Macron.

Now within two percentage points of Mr. Macron in the latest Ifop-Fiducial poll, Ms. Le Pen has softened her tone, if not her virulently anti-immigrant program. She has given the impression of being closer to the day-to-day concerns of French people, especially with regard to sharply rising gas prices and inflation.

merlin_205294692_569363c4-68ac-4bbb-9b59-1d6b66dede88-superJumbo.jpg


Mr. Macron, by contrast, has often appeared disengaged, taken up with countless telephone calls to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that have proved ineffectual; refusing to debate other candidates; and holding just one big rally, and that in Paris. His election slogan, “Avec Vous,” or “With You,” has proved less than persuasive.

The muted campaign and broader disillusionment with politics have contributed to concerns that many voters will sit out the election. By noon on Sunday, voter turnout was 25.48 percent, the lowest in a French presidential election since 2002, according to official figures.

Still, having steered the country through the long Covid-19 crisis, brought unemployment to its lowest level in a decade and lifted economic growth, he has convinced many French people that he has what it takes to lead.

He has also become almost the lone face of electable political moderation, as center-left and center-right political parties have collapsed, yielding to extremes of right and left.

The possibility of France lurching toward an anti-NATO, pro-Russia, xenophobic and nationalistic position in the event of a Le Pen victory constitutes a potential shock as great as the 2016 British vote for Brexit or the election the same year of Donald J. Trump as president in the United States.

President Biden has repeatedly said the world is at an “inflection point” in the confrontation between autocracy and democracy. A France under Ms. Le Pen would push the needle in the very direction that the United States and many of France’s European Union partners oppose.

Over the course of a subdued campaign, often overshadowed by the war in Ukraine and so opaque that any prediction of the outcome is hazardous, immigration, security and the economy emerged as the main themes. Many French people feel left out from the economic growth that Mr. Macron has delivered and are anxious about the violence in their neighborhoods.

The one new face of the campaign — a glib, fiercely xenophobic TV pundit turned politician named Éric Zemmour — ended up doing Ms. Le Pen a service before his campaign faded.

By outflanking her on the right, he helped in her “banalization” quest — the attempt to look more innocuous and so join the French political mainstream, even as she proclaimed, “France, land of immigration, is finished.”

If Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen qualify for the runoff on April 24, it will be a repeat of the last election in 2017. Five years ago, Mr. Macron trounced Ms. Le Pen with 66.9 percent of the vote to her 33.1 percent. It is safe to say that it will be much closer than that this time around.

Aurelien Breeden contributed reporting.

Roger Cohen


Post your predictions and thoughts here.
 

Tender Branson

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Until noon, turnout is down ca. 3% from the first round of voting in 2017, which confirms pre-election pollsters assumptions that turnout could be lower.

But the day is still long and the pace of voting could pick up speed in the afternoon and evening.

Final turnout numbers in French overseas departments in the Pacific have shown similar turnout to 2017 afterall.

First round turnout in 2017 was 78%, about 11% higher than turnout in the 2020 US elections, which had the highest participation in over 100 years.
 

Tender Branson

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Turnout trends until noon:

Blue = turnout up vs. 2017
Red = turnout down vs. 2017

No universal trend among the departments and also no relationship until now as to where the main candidates have their regional strongholds.

 

Tender Branson

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Historically, a lower turnout has benefited the Far-Right in France.

Such as in 2002, when her father unexpectedly won 2nd place in the first round and succeeded to the runoff (where he was soundly defeated).

Pre-election polls from yesterday also showed that Macron would benefit from higher participation, because non-voters lean about 30% Macron, 20% Le Pen in the runoff. With the remaining 50% being diehard non voters who cannot be convinced to vote.
 

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My prediction for the 1st round today:

25% Macron (neo-liberal, centrist)
25% Le Pen (far-right populist)
20% Melenchon (far-left Bernie Sanders type)
9% Pecresse (moderate Republican-style right winger)
8% Zemmour (far-right populist)
5% Jadot (Green)
8% Others

Turnout: 74% (-4%)
 

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@Tender Branson thanks for posting information and data.

Eastern European media is extremely nervous, as I am to be honest.

A France with a far right in charge will mean issues for the Alliance.

Maybe Zelensky and the polish Prime Minister should have practice some diplomacy with Macron yet daily he was told he is not strong enough.

Are the 2 people above going to shut their mouth today? Last time he talked in regards to foreign policy the radical in Hungary got more votes than expected.

Why? Because regardless of who you are. People don't like to be told what to do. Action -> Reaction.

For the future of Europe the centrist Macron must win.
 
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Tender Branson

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I know it’s extremely unlikely, but it’s possible that Macron only ends up 3rd and is eliminated in Round 1.

Imagine something like a 3-way race, in which all main candidates get around 22-23% and Macron loses the runoff spot by a few thousand votes …

Or Le Pen getting 26%, leftist Melenchon 22% and Macron 21%.

In any case, a Le Pen vs. Melenchon runoff would be a stunning upset - because of Macron’s defeat.

Macron would underperform polls by 3-5% in this case, while Melenchon would outperform polls by 5%. As I said, unlikely, but not impossible because he’s been gaining ground for weeks now.
 

Carjosse

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I know it’s extremely unlikely, but it’s possible that Macron only ends up 3rd and is eliminated in Round 1.

Imagine something like a 3-way race, in which all main candidates get around 22-23% and Macron loses the runoff spot by a few thousand votes …

Or Le Pen getting 26%, leftist Melenchon 22% and Macron 21%.

In any case, a Le Pen vs. Melenchon runoff would be a stunning upset - because of Macron’s defeat.

Macron would underperform polls by 3-5% in this case, while Melenchon would outperform polls by 5%. As I said, unlikely, but not impossible because he’s been gaining ground for weeks now.
Macron probably would not be in this position if he actually got out and campaigned, I have a feeling the next two weeks he will have to out on the campaign trail non-stop.
 

EMNofSeattle

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@Tender Branson thanks for posting information and data.

Eastern European media is extremely nervous, as I am to be honest.

A France with a far right in charge will mean issues for the Alliance.

Maybe Zelensky and the polish Prime Minister should have practice some diplomacy with Macron yet daily he was told he is not strong enough.

Are the 2 people above going to shut their mouth today? Last time he talked in regards to foreign policy the radical in Hungary got more votes than expected.

Why? Because regardless of who you are. People don't like to be told what to do. Action -> Reaction.

For the future of Europe the centrist Macron must win.
What you probably mean is that left wing big corporate oligarchs in Eastern Europe are concerned, the elected governments and people of eastern European countries see Marine Le Pen is an ally
 

Tender Branson

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Macron probably would not be in this position if he actually got out and campaigned, I have a feeling the next two weeks he will have to out on the campaign trail non-stop.

I think Macron actually has been out there campaigning a lot recently.

But yeah, if he makes it into the runoff and doesn’t surprisingly get ousted by the 3rd major candidate, Melenchon, today … he will need to campaign 24/7 in the next two weeks to the runoff.

He then also must tie Le Pen to Putin and his war crimes and bring up her connections to him in the past, her neo-nazi comments on immigration and Jews and hope that a majority of French voters reject her because of it.
 

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What you probably mean is that left wing big corporate oligarchs in Eastern Europe are concerned, the elected governments and people of eastern European countries see Marine Le Pen is an ally
I am still waiting for some videos you promised me early on in the war in which you claimed it shows Ukrainian troops firing on civilians.

Leave the olygarch conspiracy aside for a minute and deliver on what you promised.
 

Loulit01

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1. When they say voting began Sunday do they mean our Sunday their Monday? Or is election day on a Sunday in France?
2. Ms. Le Pen's dye job is horrible - her hair looks like straw. I thought the French were good at that stuff.
 

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Polls are closing in the French countryside at 7pm local, but in big cities at 8pm local.

So, the real poll closing time is 8pm, or 2pm in the US East, when the votes are getting counted.
 

TomFitz

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Historically, a lower turnout has benefited the Far-Right in France.

Such as in 2002, when her father unexpectedly won 2nd place in the first round and succeeded to the runoff (where he was soundly defeated).

Pre-election polls from yesterday also showed that Macron would benefit from higher participation, because non-voters lean about 30% Macron, 20% Le Pen in the runoff. With the remaining 50% being diehard non voters who cannot be convinced to vote.

Something similar happened in the United States in 2016!
 

Tender Branson

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1. When they say voting began Sunday do they mean our Sunday their Monday? Or is election day on a Sunday in France?
2. Ms. Le Pen's dye job is horrible - her hair looks like straw. I thought the French were good at that stuff.

Voting in mainland France is today - Sunday.

There is only 6 hours in between here and the US, so Sunday is Sunday in both countries.

(The French overseas territories voted all yesterday.)
 

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Voting in mainland France is today - Sunday.

There is only 6 hours in between here and the US, so Sunday is Sunday in both countries.

(The French overseas territories voted all yesterday.)
We should do that. Wouldn't more people vote if they didn't have to work election day?
 

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Just curious -- all paper ballots, no machines? Where do people fill out their ballot? Seems different from the US. Anyone know?
 

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Here is the OFFICIAL results page of the French Interior Ministry:


All polling stations close at 8pm local - which is 2pm at the US East Coast.

First indicative results or a clearer picture of where things are heading are expected around 2-3 hours later.

Small rural community results are coming in first. Those in general and Eastern and Southern Coastal France lean LePen or Conservative. The North-East is similar to the Rust Belt in the US and decaying (= Le Pen), the coastal South is working-class touristy and fisherman (Le Pen).

The population-rich Paris and suburbs and Western France are leaning Macron and Melenchon. Also, other big cities like Lyon or Toulouse vote Macron or left. Marseille is more far-right.
 

Tender Branson

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Just curious -- all paper ballots, no machines? Where do people fill out their ballot? Seems different from the US. Anyone know?

France votes by PAPER only. No voting machines.

As can be seen in the pictures I posted.

People fill out their ballot in secret boxes with veils/curtains, so that nobody can look.

Votes are then thrown into transparent voting boxes in front of the local election commission (see pictures), who are made up of representatives of all parties.
 

Tender Branson

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Unlike in the US, France has a lot of precincts per voter, which means every precinct election commission has to count just 500 votes tonight - therefore results are almost 100% by midnight.

In the US, there are many states with 10.000 voters per precinct and voters are not assigned to a certain polling station, meaning they can choose where to go to.

Then you have hour long lines like in Florida …
 

MaryP

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France votes by PAPER only. No voting machines.

As can be seen in the pictures I posted.

People fill out their ballot in secret boxes with veils/curtains, so that nobody can look.

Votes are then thrown into transparent voting boxes in front of the local election commission (see pictures), who are made up of representatives of all parties.
Thanks!
 
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