France may see lowest election turnout in its history: Poll
The French presidential election could culminate in a historically low turnout amid the nation’s preparations for a run-off rematch between incumbent President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.
According to a survey conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), 80 percent of the respondents felt the 2022 presidential election campaign has been poor quality and never really got off the ground.
“Just like today, in 2002 there was a constant feeling of a campaign that didn’t work, which in turn created a temptation towards a protest vote,” said François Miquet-Marty, head of the Viavoice pollster. “Our polling shows 75% of French people think there aren’t really any new ideas in this campaign.”
“And at the same time, 76% of people are worried about their children’s futures. There is a sense that the solutions on offer in this campaign aren’t enough,” said Miquet-Marty.
Macron has promised to continue to lower taxes, and raise the pension age to 65. The president, however, has seen his polls lead slip slightly in recent days while his rival closes the gap in the second place.
Le Pen has focused on the cost-of-living crisis. She is also campaigning to ban the Muslim head-scarf from all public places, as part of her anti-immigration program.
Polls predict that Macron will lead Le Pen by a handful of percentage points in round one, with the top two going through to a second round on April 24.
If Macron and Le Pen reach the second round, analysts believe their clash will be far tighter than in 2017, when the current president thrashed his rival with 66 percent of the votes.