With less than six days to go until Election Day, the race for the Elysees is far from decided. With 11 contenders in the presidential elections and with four of them virtually head to head in the polls, there is almost no doubt the first round, set to take place on the 23rd of April, won’t be the final round of elections.
The latests polls place the “centrist” (spineless ?) Emmanuel Macron, extreme right leader Marine le Pen, conservative Francois Fillon and far-left contender Jean-Luc Melenchon separated by just a couple of percentage points. While Macron, Le Pen and Fillon have been in the fight since the beginning of the electoral process, Melenchon is a new addition to the top four contenders. The support for the far left leader surged in the past weeks : Melenchon rides a big wave of popularity, sustained by strong social media support of his 20 millions viewers YouTube account, while the other three top contenders had their support eroded by scandals and fraud allegations.
Although both Lepen and Fillon chief of staff are former GUD fascist extremists Melenchon’s meteoric rise is controversial. Running for the Unbowed France alliance and supported by the French Communist Party, he’s been able to recuperate a large handicap in the polls with the help of a well made digital campaign (his Youtube account has more followers than all his principal opponents put together and he has released even a video game in the style of the famous Mortal Kombat, where players fight bankers to redistribute wealth to the people) and the support of many youths.
This was evident on Sunday. A large crowd gathered in Toulouse to hear the far left leader announce his plans in case of winning the presidency. According to political analysts, Melenchon’s speech isn’t far off from that of the extreme right leader Marine Le Pen. Both want to pull France out of the E.U. if the Union is not reformed, but Melenchon also wants to take Paris out of NATO and increase government expenditures, while imposing a 90% tax on France’s top earners. Marine Le Pen just wants to pull France out of the E.U. and scrap the Euro.
“We represent a France of beauty and generosity, that starts each new day mindful of our motto – liberty, equality and fraternity. (…) It’s the people who make history. (…) It’s you! So we have to do it. Let’s go, folks! Courage!” said Melenchon during Sunday’s rally.
The four horsemen of the French “apocalyptic” presidential elections share between them a meagre three point difference in the Ipsos-Sopra Sterna predicts. According to them, the centrist Macron would receive 22 per cent in the first round, just like Front National leader Marine Le Pen. The left-wing candidate Mélenchon is on 20 per cent, while Mr. Fillon trails just one point behind on 19 per cent.
The following week will be crucial for the candidates and everyone braces for a series of rallies and televised interventions, but it is almost impossible for one of them to gain the needed percents in order to win the elections on the first round. According to French electoral law, if no candidate obtains 50%+1 vote on April 23rd, a run-off election between the top two candidates will be held on the 7th of May 2017.