We haven’t paid much attention to this.
The conventional wisdom has been that Emmanuel Macron was sailing to victory and that Marine Le Pen’s campaign was falling apart. As things stand today though, the center right candidate Valérie Pécresse has faded, Éric Zemmour’s campaign has moved the Overton Window and made Le Pen look more moderate and Macron is in trouble due to inflation and high gas prices.
“Marine Le Pen, the hard-right leader making her third attempt to gain power, has surged over the past couple of weeks, as her patient focus on cost-of-living issues has resonated with the millions of French people struggling to make ends meet after an increase of more than 35 percent in gas prices over the past year.
The most recent poll from the respected Ifop-Fiducial group showed Ms. Le Pen gaining 21.5 percent of the vote in the first round of voting next Sunday, almost double the vote share of the fading extreme-right upstart Éric Zemmour, with 11 percent, and closing the gap on Mr. Macron with 28 percent. The two leading candidates go through to a runoff on April 24.
More worrying for Mr. Macron, the poll suggested he would edge Ms. Le Pen by just 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent in the second round. In the last presidential election, in 2017, Mr. Macron trounced Ms. Le Pen by 66.1 percent to 33.9 percent in the runoff.
“It’s an illusion that this election is won for Mr. Macron,” said Nicolas Tenzer, an author who teaches political science at Sciences Po university. “With a high abstention rate, which is possible, and the level of hatred toward the president among some people, there could be a real surprise. The idea that Le Pen wins is not impossible.”
“After a decade spent trying to detoxify the jack-booted image of the far-right, anti-immigration party she took over from her father, Le Pen this week reached her highest poll ratings and popularity. Polls show her not only reaching the second round final against the centrist president Emmanuel Macron on 24 April, but significantly closing the gap. An Ifop poll alarmed Macron’s camp by showing her reaching 47% against his 53%, the narrowest margin yet and far closer than when he defeated her with 66% in 2017.
Political opponents still decry Le Pen’s National Rally party as racist, xenophobic, antisemitic and anti-Muslim, but polls show that, while society once rejected her as the “devil” of the republic, public perception of her has softened. On her third presidential bid, Le Pen, 53, has risen to become the second favourite political personality in France behind Macron’s former prime minister Edouard Philippe in Elabe’s latest monthly survey. …”
“PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) – Opinion polls point to the far-right’s Marine Le Pen as the main challenger to President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, in a repeat of the 2017 match.
Le Pen has shifted her campaign focus to purchasing power, the number one priority for French voters, without shedding far-right policies from her election programme …”
“While Macron has focused on trying to find a diplomatic solution in Ukraine — and is failing, so far — his leading opponent has instead focused on the French economy, my colleague Roger Cohen explains in a preview of the election. That opponent is Marine Le Pen, a hard-right candidate.
As Roger writes, “Her patient focus on cost-of-living issues has resonated with the millions of French people struggling to make ends meet after an increase of more than 53 percent in gas prices over the past year.”
Macron will probably squeak it out.
Who knows though? Could Putin do something to spike energy prices this month?
Still though, the overall trend is that the entire French political spectrum has shifted to the Right, so much so that Marine Le Pen no longer looks like the dangerous radical in French politics. The neoliberal centrist Emmanuel Macron hasn’t soared in popularity because of Ukraine either.
If everything changed on February 24, why have Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron been sliding in the polls? Why is inflation and high energy prices, not Ukraine, dominating politics? Why was Viktor Orbán just reelected in a landslide? Orbán ran on putting Hungary First and staying out of the war.