Emmanuel Macron returns to the pitch on Thursday, aiming to widen his less visible lead, according to polls, over Marine Le Pen in what, if not surprisingly, looks more and more like a 2017 remake.
Ten days before the first round of the presidential election on April 10, the presidential candidate, campaigning at least at the risk of appearing distant, travels to the Charente-Maritime, to Fouras, to meet with residents and merchants, as in Dijon on Monday.
“He needs to put in a thorough campaign to show we’re in the game,” a majority spokesman says.
In particular, he will defend his criticized environmental track record by talking about government investment in cleaning up an old landfill, now buried, whose waste threatens to drain into the ocean, according to his campaign group.
This new visit to the pitch, a few days before his big Saturday meeting at the Paris Arena – the first and probably the last in the first round – comes at a time when the gap with his far-right rival is narrowing. first and second round voting intent polls.
In the case of a Macron-Le Pen duel in the second round, he would have won 52.5% to 47.5%, according to an Elabe poll published on Wednesday. Last week, two candidates got 56% and 44%, respectively.
– “Nothing to hide” –
Emmanuel Macron is also facing controversy over the top executive’s use of consulting firms, notably America’s McKinsey, which points to alleged condoning of a business community that has seen his first five-year term tainted by accusations of being “president of the rich.”
On Wednesday evening, the government assured there was “nothing to hide” and condemned the political recovery. He was immediately followed up by a Senate Investigative Committee dominated by the LR’s right-wing opposition, accusing the executive branch of “minimizing the influence of consultants.”
Another hot topic: purchasing power, the dominant theme of this atypical campaign against the backdrop of soaring prices, including for fuel, is partly related to the war in Ukraine.
According to Philippe Moreau Chevrolet, an expert on political communications, there is a “big misunderstanding with the authorities.”
“The feeling of loss of purchasing power in the people is extremely strong and is measured on pumping, on tight spending, while in the executive, reasoning in large masses (…) purchasing power has progressed and we have issued a lot of money and aid,” he said AFP.
On the contrary, the candidate from the National Association, who gained about 20%, after many months of programmatic reorientation of his campaign, aimed specifically at purchasing power. And less about immigration, an area invaded by his rival Eric Zemmour, who cites the “great replacement” conspiracy theory.
– Unknown Mélenchon –
This is one of the unknowns on the ballot: will Insumi leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon succeed in reaching the second round, which he failed to do in 2017?
With about 15% of the vote, he moved to third place.
The LFI candidate is accelerating the deployment of its troops in the working-class neighborhoods to mobilize an abstaining electorate as well as agitate the scarecrow of the far right.
On Wednesday evening, he called a large meeting of the “union of popular quarters” in the Franck-Moisin district of Saint-Denis.
Faced with this leading trio, the other candidates, from Eric Zemmour to Anna Hidalgo, through Valerie Pecresse and Yannick Jadot or the communist Fabien Roussel, do not give up, but the situation is starting to get seriously tough.
And some in their entourage no longer hesitate to openly think about post-presidential and legislative elections in June.
The LR candidate was due to present to the press on Thursday his program, if elected, of the “First Hundred Days” of the Pecresse presidency, while the Socialist Anne Hidalgo would travel to the Pas de Calais mining basin.
Environmentalist Yannick Jadot has planned a trip to the Parisian suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine to discuss air pollution.
Another paradox of this end of the campaign: it may end up with less politics due to a tie between the 12 candidates, which forces the audiovisual media to use tactical treasures to match it. The rule is seen as a blessing for “small” candidates, finally due to the anonymity of the media.
“In 48 hours we had more invitations than in five years,” say Philippe Putu, who is surrounded by the far-left candidate.