The last electoral confrontation between Macron and Le Pen ahead of the presidential election
On Sunday, the French were called to the polls for the local elections, in the latest showdown between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen ahead of next year's presidential clash that could shake the foundations of the status quo in Europe.
Despite the importance of this election to measure the electoral mood of the French on the eve of the first election, where Le Pen mathematically has the chance of winning the presidency, voters seem to be a little interested and polls suggest turnout is expected to be very high. low, perhaps even the lowest in the modern history of the country.
The lifting of anti-COVID measures, high temperatures and the "oversaturation" of political debates are likely to raise the level of abstention to alarming figures, something that is expected to hurt moderate parties and give Le Pen an advantage that it does not enjoy. massive support has more loyal voters and more radical and motivated activists going to the polls.
"Participation can create problems for Macron. "His voters are less mobilized and motivated than the Conservatives, and the right has older voters, who generally vote more," said Bruno Jeanbart of polling company OpinionWay.
"When we went out on the streets to campaign, some people did not even know we had an election. "We are doing everything we can, but it is obvious that there is very little interest ," En Marche activist Roland Lescure told POLITICO EU.
Turnout is projected to be just 40%, at a time when Le Pen is enjoying more popularity than Macron for the first time in presidential polls.
To increase the chances of a good performance, Macron has nominated 5 ministers of his government in the local elections and has focused the campaign on areas where historically the right has performed well as in the Hauts-de-France area.
If Le Pen were to win even a handful of mayors it would be a legitimacy of the party that has historically operated outside the system and had no access to decision-making and above all would be a "proof" that it can win, which would give a psychological revenge for the 2022 presidential confrontation, for which Le Pen has been campaigning since the day after the 2017 election defeat.