Emmanuel Macron warns he could lose the French election on the far right

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned his supporters not to assume he will win a second term in this month’s elections, suggesting that one of his far-right opponents can beat grandfather.

In his only major rally of the campaign, the French leader pointed to his own victory in 2017 and the UK’s vote for Brexit the previous year as examples of the outcome. unexpected political results.

“The danger of extremism today is even greater than it was a few months ago, a few years ago,” he told supporters gathered in an auditorium in La Défense, a suburb of Paris.

“Don’t believe the commentators or the polls who say it’s impossible, unthinkable, who say ‘the election is won and all will be well’. Look at us, look at you, 5 years ago. People say it’s impossible. Look at Brexit and so many elections where the outcome seemed unlikely but did.”

Opinion polls predict that Macron will come out on top in the first round of voting next weekend, ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. He was then expected to beat her in the second and final round two weeks later as he did five years ago, but this time polls predict a much narrower win rate.

According to the latest information Ipsos In the survey released on Saturday, Macron will receive 26% of the vote in the first round, followed by Le Pen with 21% and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 15.5%. In the second round, Macron beat Le Pen 53%, ranked 47th.

In 2017, Macron campaigned as a “neither nor left” candidate. He has never held an elected office and is hailed as a breath of fresh air. He crushed the two main political movements that have held the presidency for the past six decades: the Gaullists, now represented by the conservative Les Républicains, and the Socialists. .

This time, however, he was considered part of the establishment after five years at the Elysée Palace.

Macron’s poll ratings skyrocketed in the early weeks of the Ukraine war as he was seen as a leader in times of conflict. That bounce quickly faded, however, while his prominent role in international efforts to impose sanctions on Russia and convince Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops limited his time. on the road to the election at home.

Some of his supporters on the left and Greens have also said they do not like what they see as his sound economic policies and his reputation for arrogance.

In his speech on Saturday, Macron emphasized achievement – including cutting unemployment to its lowest level in more than a decade – and promising to work towards full employment over the next five years.

He also sought to make his mark in the fight against climate change, arguing that with nuclear power, investments in renewable energy and energy-saving measures, France “will become a great country.” the first era to get rid of fossil fuels”.

Macron stressed his commitment to Europe and the EU – as opposed to both Le Pen and Mélenchon – and said that a Europe united in defense, environmentalism and managed capitalism is an important counterbalance. important to the “monopoly” superpowers of the US and China and the “disordered power” of geopolitics.

“The peaceful world we once thought was eternal, the world of relentless progress we once thought unstoppable, all of this seems to be disintegrating before our eyes,” he said. speak.

“What we are going through is a kind of great turmoil, because of the troubles of the natural world and the environment, of capitalism and the growing inequality, of capitalism,” Macron said. religious extremists and conspiracy theories, and “geopolitical turmoil with a return to wars and dreams of empire, and the specter, perhaps, of global armed conflict”.

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