Too tight to call Heres what to know as France votes for

first_img Share Tweet Email1 On the phone with @BarackObama. pic.twitter.com/2dYHLismdh— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 20, 2017 Too tight to call: Here’s what to know as France votes for a new president The topsy-turvy election means the result is next to impossible to predict. Apr 22nd 2017, 6:30 AM Marine Le Pen and supporters in the Marseille earlier this week. Source: Jim Roberts/Twitter Independent former Socialist Emmanuel Macron is looking like her most-likely opponent. He’s solidified his place in the race but the staunchness of his supporters remains a concern.He’s currently the favourite to win the presidency outright but there are some things going against him. Having being a senior civil servant in François Hollande’s government, he’s never been elected before.And as a former investment banker, a perception that he’s simply a rebranded elite insider might count against him.The biggest development in the past two months has been the performance of a Communist-backed eurosceptic Jean-Luc Melenchon.In an election season marked by widespread disillusionment with the political class, the head of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) has risen from about 11% in the polls in February to being closer to 20%. Latest from France:Macron (center) 23.5Le Pen (far right) 22.5Fillon (Conservative) 19.5Mélenchon (far left) 19https://t.co/7GSz5YXDaa pic.twitter.com/V5IuYfyYhV— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) April 19, 2017 By Rónán Duffy Image: Twitter/MarineLePen 42 Comments center_img IF YOU’VE BEEN following the French presidential election it’s been one hell of a ride.At its tightest, one poll showed four front-runners with 21% of the vote each and everyone watched on as another unpredictable election began to unfold.But the polls weren’t the only things that shocked the race. Scandals turned into arrests and outsiders muscled their way into a position to cause a serious upset.Back in February, TheJournal.ie put together an explainer on ‘Everything you need to know about the French presidential election’. Ten weeks later, it feels as if everything has changed and nothing has changed.Back then former frontrunner Francois Fillon was bumbling his way through a sleaze scandal that was threatening his very candidacy. Now, despite a raid on his home and a court summons, he’s still bumbling his way through the race.Albeit still with a realistic shot at winning.Ten weeks ago, it was looking like Marine Le Pen was leading the pack but was struggling to get enough votes from outside her far-right base to win the second round of voting.That’s still the case and Le Pen is still odds on the reach the run-off vote, but her ultimate opponent is far less clear.While some have speculated that Thursday’s attack in Paris may help her chances, France has lived in a state of emergency for more than 18 months and the security situation hasn’t been dramatically altered by the attack. Marine Le Pen and supporters in the Marseille earlier this week. Image: Twitter/MarineLePen Source: Emmanuel Macron/Twitter Saturday 22 Apr 2017, 6:30 AM http://jrnl.ie/3346899 Short URL Melenchon’s emergence as a genuine contender has clearly shaken the race. A potential runoff between him and Le Pen would rock global markets because both want to tear up agreements that bind together the 28 EU states.Following the UK’s Brexit vote, the election of either could deliver a knockout punch to the stated EU ambition of ever-closer union.Melenchon has said “the Europe of our dreams is dead.”He proposes “disobeying treaties from the moment we take power” and negotiating new EU rules — followed by a referendum on whether France should leave the bloc it helped found.“We either change the EU or quit it,” Melenchon’s manifesto says. A hologram Jean-Luc Melenchon projected in Grenoble as the candidate spoke live in Dijon. Source: Laurent Cipriani/PAWhile Melenchon’s anti-EU stances may have gained international headlines other policies, such as a pledge to reduce the retirement age to 60 and a promise to make France nuclear power-free, are also behind his national appeal.In total, there are 11 contenders in the first round who will be competing for votes from 47 million registered electors.The candidate with over 50% of the popular vote is elected as president, but it usually takes two votes for this to happen.In tomorrow’s first round the wider field is put to the electorate and if no candidate secures a majority then there’s a runoff election between the top two candidates.That runoff vote will be held two weeks from tomorrow on 7 May.- With reporting by Associated PressRead: Le Pen promises to suspend all immigration if elected >Read: Latest poll has Le Pen and Macron head-to-head in French presidential race > 12,799 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more