Day 4 – Just before the Debate

TV debate

After several hours discussion (because Le Pen allegedly objected) it’s been agreed – for the first time since the Mitterand – Giscard d’Estaing 2nd round debate (1981) – that the reactions of a candidate can be shown while the other is speaking. ‘A little revolution’ says the TV debate director

Changing political positions

Le Pen said that her priority was reducing unemployment … so retirement at 60 will have happened by the end of her 5 year term of office.

Macron says that the reduction in France’s nuclear energy as part of overall electricity generation to 50% by 2025 may be pushed back.

Voting (or supporting) – Macron 

  • Hamon saying ‘A difficult act but an obvious choice’
  • 60 sportspeople – Olympic gold medallists, French rugby selectors and Matuidi (PSG)
  • 30 CGT (Communist union: anti-Le Pen) politicians/activists/officials in L’Humanité
  • 170 doctors in Le Parisien
  • Chancellor Merkel will be ‘happy’ if Macron is President ‘it’s a signal of good Franco-German relations’ (Berliner Zeitung)
  • Open letter to ‘Dear abstaining friend … I am utterly horrified by your decision to abstain in Round 2 … What really horrifies me is the implicit notion of equivalence … that the failings of [Le Pen and Macron] are equivalent. I can’t swallow that. Move away, go and live in a town run by the extreme right … if they are allowed to progress they will finally get to power, as they’re already in power in Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia … We can talk about Macron’s cortege of deregulation and other pleasures another time, that’s not today’s issue’. (Daniel Pennac)
  • Below’s the poster for a 7-hour Anti-Abstention-Fest this Friday (in Paris and live in 15 other towns) organised by BHL (aka Bernard-Henri Lévy) ‘perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today’ (Boston Globe) and starring The Political Great And Good from all over the political spectrum – ‘We consider the idea that the Front National candidate could get 40% both intolerable and unacceptable’ (BHL)


Voting (maybe) … but definitely not recommending

Vive la différence réligieuse. Jewish, Protestant and Muslim institutions have all called for a vote for Macron. BUT …

The President of the French Bishops Conference, denouncing a ‘hysterical climate’, said that the ‘role of the [Catholic] Church, more than ever, was not to support either candidate’. The Church’s teaching calls for ‘respect for the dignity of all, welcoming the other and their difference, the importance of family and respect for parenthood, respect for freedom of conscience, openness to the world, the fair division of wealth, access to a job and housing … because no programme fulfils all criteria … everyone must vote in accordance with their conscience.’

Even the Pope has been far less clear than usual. ‘I know that one of the candidates is a representative of the hard right; but as for the other, truly, I don’t know where he’s from and, for that reason, I cannot give a decisive opinion regarding France.’

A besuited man may be taking a big decision

Bourgi (the friend who gave Fillon lots of smart clothes) tweeted ‘I believe [Fillon] is thinking of invalidating the Elections’.

Le Canard Enchainé says

  • several leading Républicains (ex-Ministers/PM) will leave to form a new Party
  • it’s being sued for defamation by Fillon

Parliamentary Elections

La France Insoumise and the Communist Party have been trying to agree terms for their respective parties to stand in the June Elections: negotiations have broken down. Au revoir le Parti communiste.

Opinion Polls

Macron 59% Le Pen 41% (Cevipof  13,700 voters 30/4 – 1/5)

  • Cevipof analysis:
  • 62% women vote Macron – 38% Le Pen; 65% of 65+ vote Macron and 35% Le Pen
  • 91% of Macron voters say their choice is definite, but only 40% are voting for Macron out of conviction and 60% by default; 88% of Le Pen voters are definite
  • Macron has collected 42% of Fillon voters (3 million), 75% of Hamon voters (1.7 million) and 48% of Mélenchon (3.4 million)
  • Le Pen has 32% Fillon (2.3M), 4% Hamon (0.1M), 14% Mélenchon (1M)
  • Participation 76%, with a far higher % of spoilt ballots than Round 1
  • 43% want Macron to win; 28% want Le Pen to win; 29% want neither to win
  • 47% say they don’t like Macron’s personality; 59% don’t like Le Pen’s

Macron 60% Le Pen 40% (BVA 1500 voters 1/5 – 2/5)

  • BVA analysis:
  • Macron voters 90% certain to vote; Le Pen voters 86% certain
  • Participation 76% – 80%
  • ‘Interest’ in the Election is at an all-time high for BVA of 80%
  • 18% of ex-Mélenchon voters will vote Le Pen
  • 24% of Dupont-Aignan voters will vote Macron
  • 26% (sic) of Macron voters will vote for him because of his political programme
  • 55% want Le Pen beaten, 30% want her to win, 15% are indifferent to the result
  • 37% of voters who will not vote Le Pen do not consider it essential that the French people mobilise to vote against her
  • Asked whether the Front National is a party of the ‘extreme right’ or the ‘classic right’ TWENTY NINE PER CENT said ‘classic right’
  • Asked whether they thought the Front National should be ‘considered a Party like the others’, 54% said they thought it should be

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