French presidential election: the candidates mobilize their troops two weeks before the election

Two weeks before the French presidential election, the candidates are stepping up their activity on the ground to convince voters.

Jean-Luc Melenchon in Marseilles

This Sunday, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is in a meeting on the Prado beach in Marseille. The leader of the radical left, candidate for the Elysée for the third time – his “most interesting campaign” – seems to be in the best position to win the left in the first round.

Credited with 14% of voting intentions according to the latest surveys, he hopes to convince supporters of Anne Hidalgo (PS), Yannick Jadot (The Greens), or Fabien Roussel (Communist Party) to opt for the useful vote, while rejecting this formula. “We try to convince that we have a good program, but we will not say that we are the useful vote because that would imply that the rest are useless votes”, declared in the week the candidate of insubordinate France (LFI).

Yannick Jadot in Paris

Losing momentum in the polls (5% of voting intentions), the Greens candidate Yannick Jadot hoped, for his part, to boost his campaign this Sunday at the Zenith in Paris.

The MEP recently made a splash when he accused TotalEnergies of being “complicit in war crimes” in Ukraine through its activity in Russia. In response, the French oil group decided to attack the presidential candidate for defamation.

Anne Hidalgo in the media

For her part, Anne Hidalgo exposed her vision for France this Sunday on the airwaves of France Inter, Franceinfo and in the columns of the newspaper Le Monde.

Candidate for the first time in the presidential election, the socialist has never taken off so far in the polls (2% of voting intentions), so that behind the scenes of the PS, we already seem to be concentrating on the post-presidential period to prepare for the 2027 election.

On the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Moscow, the current mayor of Paris on Thursday asked Total, Leroy Merlin and all French companies to “commit” by imitating Renault which, under pressure from the Ukrainian president, has decided to suspend the activities of its factory in Russia. She also pleaded for an embargo on Russian gas and oil, even if it takes “time to adapt”.

Valérie Pécresse at a distance

Tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, Valérie Pécresse is continuing her “remote” campaign by bringing her supporters together by videoconference on Sunday.

The candidate of the Les Républicains (LR) Party has so far struggled to seduce an electorate torn between the Macron vote or that in favor of the far right (Marine Le Pen or Eric Zemmour). With 10% of voting intentions in the polls, his qualification for the second round seems to be getting more complicated day by day.

On the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Moscow, Valérie Pécresse proposed Thursday on France 2 that Ukrainian refugees be welcomed in the villas or yachts of the seized Russian oligarchs, believing that this “would have panache”. Candidate LR also “welcomed Renault’s decision” to suspend its activities in Russia.

Eric Zemmour facing the Eiffel Tower

After having had the wind in its sails, Eric Zemmour, the far-right candidate of the “Reconquest” party is in sharp decline in the polls. Credited with about 10% of voting intentions (down 5 points compared to February), he pays in particular for his pro-Putin statements made before the start of the war in Ukraine. A pro-Russian tropism exploited by his rivals on the right, in particular by Valérie Pécresse with whom he is elbow-elbow for fourth place.

To hope to relaunch his campaign, he gathered his supporters on Sunday at the Trocadéro in Paris, facing the Eiffel Tower. His campaign team chartered dozens of buses to transport activists from all over France and visually perform a “show of force.” The place echoes the campaign meetings of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012 and François Fillon in 2017, who then lost their battle for the presidential election.

Marine Le Pen in Guadeloupe

Two weeks before the election, Marine Le Pen, traveling to Guadeloupe, still seems best placed to find herself in the second round, as she did five years ago against Emmanuel Macron.

Credited with 19% of voting intentions, the candidate of the National Rally (RN) is playing the card of caution and moderation in the face of the more radical positions of her far-right rival Eric Zemmour.

With an irony mixed with concern, three ministers of Emmanuel Macron – Sébastien Lecornu, Julien Denormandie and Bruno Le Maire – denounced Saturday in the Eure the “amazing metamorphosis” of an RN candidate who “makes herself sympathetic” and represents according to them “a real risk” for their candidate.

On current international challenges, Marine Le Pen said that if elected president, she would not step out of NATO’s integrated command until the war in Ukraine is over, but would do so later. Instead of a “reinforcement” of NATO in Europe, she would prefer “that the various European countries, through cooperation agreements, be able to assume their own defence”.

Finally, the RN candidate reiterated her opposition to sanctions against Russia which would “result in destroying the French economy”.

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