Is the election over, as the polls and political observers have been saying for months? Not yet. There are 17 days left before the first round and one month before the second.
In the end, this electoral campaign for the 2022 presidential election will have been literally crushed by the war in Ukraine and the role of mediator that the president-candidate has given himself in this disastrous affair. The twelve candidates in the race for the Élysée are almost inaudible, their voices being covered by the sound of bombs 2,000 kilometers away, and the fear of a shortage of gas, oil and Russian raw materials. But, in any case, we will vote on April 10 and 24, 2022 to elect a new president.
Macron down, Le Pen up
If we believe the polls (but should we believe them?), the president-candidate has been leading since the beginning. He is given 30% of voting intentions, or even more, in the first round. And he would be re-elected in all cases in the second round with a more or less flattering score depending on the candidate who came second.
Behind him, the field is very thin. Marine Le Pen (RN) is in second place, between 17 and 20% of voting intentions depending on the time and the polls. She should therefore compete in the second round, as in 2017, with the outgoing president.
An Opinion Way poll for Les Echos published on Wednesday, March 23 makes her gain 3 points in one week and 5 points in six weeks. She thus distances Valérie Pécresse, at 11% and Eric Zemmour at 9% in this Opinion Way consultation. In third position, Jean-Luc Mélenchon progresses significantly and is ranked third, with 14% of voting intentions. But the pollster notes a drop of the president-candidate who loses 2 points to 28% now.
Behind this more or less well grouped pack, Yannick Jadot is at 6% and the others make insignificant scores.
A priori, if the polls are not mistaken, we will have in the second round a duel Macron/Le Pen as in 2017. However, the situation is more complicated.
First, because the Russian-Ukrainian war has a strong impact on our purchasing power. The exorbitant price of fuel, gas, flour, cars, fertilizers, etc. worries the French, whatever their standard of living. The purchasing power of households is constantly decreasing. And the fear of a major crisis is not to be excluded in the coming weeks. President Macron even announced it in these terms: “The worst is yet to come”.
Second, because the past five years have fractured French society even more. The affair of the Yellow Vests and the strong manner of quelling the demonstrations has left indelible marks that are not favorable to President Macron.
The McKinsey affair
Then there was the disastrous management of the health crisis by private firms such as McKinsey. A scandal where we saw the lobbies (especially American ones) take precedence over the decision-makers and the civil servants of the big administrations.
Add to this a few assassinating phrases directed at the unvaccinated, such as “I’m going to piss them off”, and you get a better idea of Macron’s arrogance.
In this context, it is difficult to see Emmanuel Macron at 28 or 30% in the first round. Unless, of course, the French are so disillusioned after two years of hardship that they will not even go to vote. The risk of a record abstention is once again one of the challenges of this election.