President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will face off today in the second round of the 2022 French presidential elections.
Macron won 27.6 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 23.4 percent in the first round, allowing the centrist and right-wing candidates, to advance to the runoff. Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the far-left France Unbowed party failed to advance with 22 percent of the vote, meaning his over 7,700,000 voters will be critical in deciding France’s next President.
While most polls show Macron beating Le Pen, he needs the left’s unwavering support to win. However, historically low turnout in the first round, as well as Mélenchon’s request that his voters not vote for Le Pen—as opposed to encouraging votes for Macron—means that many left-wing voters may simply abstain from voting entirely.
Expect today’s vote to be far closer than previous predictions. Apathetic support from leftist voters—who are closer to Macron’s center-liberal policies than Le Pen’s far-right—is likely following Mélenchon’s decision not to rally them behind the President. While this will likely mean a smaller victory for Macron, expect him to prevail. Expect Macron’s second term to mirror his first with pro-business domestic policies, while moving to tackle France’s growing cost of living crisis.
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Jon is a Content Editor and Analyst within the Analysis division of Foreign Brief.