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Ballot: with a high abstention, France chooses between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen

The French took advantage of the sun to go vote as a family and discuss one of the most decisive and listless presidential elections in its history over lunch. When the abstention can decide whether the centrist Emmanuel Macron or the far-right Marine Le Pen wins in this ballotage, the turnout was 63.2 percent of the 17 local time, two points less than the first round.

Marine LePen was the first to vote at 11 in the morning, at Henin Beaumont, his fiefdom in Pas de Calais. Wearing a black tailleur and a beige silk shirt, she arrived on foot and leaned into her new style. Smiles, selfies, greetings at the polling station. To fulfill the tradition: lunch at the house of Steeve Briois, her adviser, before leaving for Paris, to the National Regrouping headquarters. .

If he wins, the project is to tour Paris in a double-decker bus. If he loses, the celebration is easily disarmed and lost in his house in Boulogne.

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron they voted together on the beach at Touquet, where she inherited a family villa facing the sea in Normandy and have their electoral domicile. A ritual that the couple has fulfilled during the five that she has been in power. The president is very superstitious and even greets the same people when he is about to enter the polling place.

A caravan took him in his armored van to the Hall of the Four Seasons, where the mayor of Touquet and his supporters were waiting for him. Hugs, kisses, selfies. A 40-minute ceremony before entering the dark room, whichIt had the colors of the French flag.

Emmanuel Macron and his wife, when voting. Photo Bloomberg

She dressed in beige and he in a blue suit, with his red decoration in his buttonhole. A hyper presidential image. Family breakfast to return to the Elysee Palace to wait for the votes and if he wins, celebrate on the Champ de Mars, in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Ni’s Revenge

The left has its revenge in this ballotage, after they did not reach second place. Swept out of the first round of the presidential election, she managed to return to the debate in the second round by imposing her own themes. Masterful sleight of hand. An attempted inauguration on the ballot.

On the night of April 10, the Socialists and Communists represented only 4% of the voters cast. With the ecologists, this percentage painfully reached 8.66%. The newsletters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon had to be added to reach a total of 30.6%.

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are convinced that the voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon hold the key to the vote today. While it is the abstentionists who have to be convinced.

Jean Luc Mélenchon called not to give “Madame Le Pen the voice” but did not ask to vote for Emmanuel. Thus he created the Ni, (neither one nor the other), a new political generation under 25 years old, who hates Macron, detests Le Pen and does not want to vote for either of them. The French election is at stake tonight in the republican conscience of these young people.

Campaign posters in Paris.  AFP Photo

Campaign posters in Paris. AFP Photo

In the neighborhood of the “Bobos”

The XI district of Paris is the kingdom of the Bobos, the bohemian bourgeoisie, who vote for Jean Luc Mélenchon. On Rue Keller, Jean Paul was waiting in line to vote. For a week he had argued with his wife, with his friends, in the networks “a useful vote”.

“It is true that the option is “plague or cholera”. Macron is arrogant, authoritarian, who does not listen to anyone and only has ambition for power. He thus he ruled these five years. Le Pen is still a secret fascist. She has hired a good style designer, a makeup artist and they have taught him debate management and how to manage his anger.

That’s why we have this “recycled Marine”. But it’s still a dangerous candidate. That’s why I chose to vote Republican and I chose Macron” explained this graphic designer.

It is not the opinion of Sylvie, his nurse wife, who was in the Covid Pandemic, at the foot of the canyon at St Antoine hospital. “I voted blank. It is a protest vote. France wants a change and that is why they have rejected the traditional parties. The only option is Mélenchon. I hope that in the legislative elections, he gets enough legislators to be prime minister, ”said the nurse, heroes in the pandemic.

And the conservatives?

The Republicans were also evaporated in this first round. Its leader Valerie Pecresse called to vote for Macron but many of his voters chose Le Pen.

“Le Pen has a more social program and he is neither his father nor what he was. He has matured. Between the arrogant Macron, and Le Pen, I prefer her. I agree with her that migration must be limited, that a referendum must be held” explained Gerard, a businessman on Víctor Hugo avenue in Paris.

Other Republican voters refuse to vote for her. “She does not have the level of a head of state. I put the ballot to Macron” admitted Emilie, real estate agent in the XVI neighborhood.

Marine Le Pen voting.  AP Photo

Marine Le Pen voting. AP Photo

Retirees are concerned about the astronomical cost of living, where the price of some products they have grown 85 percent in two weeks. They don’t know how they will eat or stay warm. They have no way to pay with their small pensions.

“That’s why I vote Le Pen. She is the only one who talks about the cost of living, about purchasing power. She that she thinks of us, the little ones ”explained Arthur, an 80-year-old retiree in neighborhood VII.

Madame Tudraux walks with her cane to the school where she votes in the Marais. “I choose Macron. Without his help during Covid, my grandchildren would have lost their restaurant. He is a great man. A statesman,” he said.

At the Bistrot de Coin, in the heart of Bastille, Jean has lunch with his wife and grandchildren. This neighborhood cabinetmaker is one of those who decided not to vote. “Between Macron and Le Pen, I decided not to choose anyone. I have a clearer conscience. This country needs change and neither of us will do it. France has a heavy system, which needs to be eased and taxes lowered so that we can grow” he suggests.

Le Pen, overseas

In the overseas regions they have already voted. The results of Saint Barthelemy give it the winner to Le Pen for 54.73 percent against 45.27 percent. It is the beach devastated by a tropical tsunami that destroyed it and the cost of living is monumental. The same phenomenon occurred in Saint Martin.

But on the island of Guadeloupe the figures are alarming: 69.60 percent for Le Pen and 30.40 percent for Emmanuel Macron. The trend is repeated in Martinique and Guyana, where Le Pen got 60.70 percent. percent against 239.30 percent for Macron and a 38.89 percent stake.

In France they are worried.Is that phenomenon in the angry French overseas territories, with a huge cost of living crisis, can be repeated?

You have to wait to find out until 8 p.m. At 5 p.m., 634.23 percent of French people had already gone to vote, two points more than in 2017.

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