A political rally before the first round of the French presidential election.
Sylvain Lefevre | Getty Images News | fake images
French voters head to the polls on Sunday in an election where the cost of living and the war in Ukraine dominated the political debate.
Opinion polls in the week before the first round of the presidential election showed a narrower gap between the current president immanuel macron and far-right party leader Marine Le Pen, who is running for the third time. The two are set to contest the second and final round of voting on April 24.
Support for Macron had increased after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The French president tried to broker diplomatic deals between kyiv and Moscow and called for a ceasefire while urging the EU to take action against the Kremlin for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
For example, last week Macron said it was time for the EU to ban Russian coal and oil. in the aftermath of atrocities in cities near the Ukrainian capital, kyiv. The bloc then moved forward with measures against Russian coal and began work on restricting Russian oil.
But the war in Ukraine has also contributed to rising energy prices, in addition to a broader rise in inflation, something her opponent, Marine Le Pen, has seized on in her campaign.
Le Pen has focused heavily on the cost of living as she seeks to distance herself from her connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin. His campaign staff have denied the reports. that they were ordered to destroy thousands of flyers that included a photo of Le Pen with Putin.
“Macron remains in top position to win on April 24. However, his initial surge in ratings after Russia invaded Ukraine has evaporated as Le Pen has exploited anxiety over rising cost of living Based on current trends, Macron and Le Pen could be head-to-head come election time,” analysts at Berenberg said in a note to clients on Wednesday.
Le Pen has also dropped some of her other political stances. in an attempt to attract more moderate voters. It is no longer pushing for France to leave the European Union, for example.
In addition, the new presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, because he is even more to the right, has contributed to softening his image. Zemmour also takes a hard line on immigration, has focused his political rhetoric on this issue.
“Zemmour’s candidacy means that there is a more radical candidate on the extreme right of the spectrum. This could be helping Le Pen’s efforts to ‘normalize’ her figure and make her more palatable as a candidate for some segments of the centre-right electorate.” Antonio Barroso, managing director of consultancy Teneo, said in a note on Tuesday.
“Her much more professional campaign than 2017 is marked by constant efforts to make her look less aggressive than in the past,” he added of Le Pen.
performance in 10 years of France Government bonds have risen since the beginning of the year amid growing concerns about the economy amid higher inflation. The benchmark index also rose last week as opinion polls showed the gap between Macron and Le Pen narrowing.