Both Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will held the traditional debate before the 2nd round of the French Presidential Election tomorrow evening at 21:00.
This debate is the last opportunity to convince those who have not decided whether they will vote or who they will vote for. Although most of the polls had predicted such a round, whatever the final result is, this election has already been very special.
First of all, the campaign has not been focusing so much on the programmes and the policies the candidates aimed to implement once elected. Both the right wing and the far-right wing candidates have been being in troubles due to political scandals. Most of the media have therefore mostly dealt with them and the issue of ethics has been at the top of the agenda. What is the first thing you think about when it comes to François Fillon? Probably not politics.
On the other hand, as we had mentioned few hours before the first round results, it seems this election has made the French bipartism over. Although there were some exceptions over the last decades (such as in 2002), both the Socialist and the Republican used to be qualified for the second round since the 5th Republic entered into force, in 1958. They both have been eliminated this year, while Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have been qualified. Although the Front National has a long history, Emmanuel Macron was absolutely unknown a couple of years ago and he only set up his political movement (En Marche!) last year.
Last but not least, the far-right wing candidate could get a very high score. In 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen was qualified for the second round, huge protests took place in France and all the political leaders publicly supported Jacques Chirac to avoid Mr. Le Pen to be President.
In 2017, while populism has been raising across the World, there is no massive demonstration, some political leaders have made alliances with Marine Le Pen (Nicolas Dupont-Aignan) and other ones have not supported Emmanuel Macron (Jean-Luc Mélenchon). According to the last polls, Emmanuel Macron would win with about 60%. As the low turnout is a big issue this year, and it is not sure that the Mélenchon’s electors will vote, it is however quite uncertain.
Whatever the result is, both the campaign and the new political landscape will have significant consequences in France.