Emmanuel Macron polls: Why President's second term is at risk as Le Pen gains ground

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The French Presidential election will take place on Sunday, April 10, with Emmanuel Macron up against some familiar faces in French politics. But with just days left until the first round of voting, the French seem to have fallen into apathy – and it could spell disaster for President Macron.

Political participation in France has fallen in recent decades, but the Presidential Election, which takes place every five years, is the one event voters will show up for.

Polls predict a record 31 percent of eligible voters will not be casting a ballot this year.

This is more than the predicted 27 percent of voters who say they’ll support the incumbent President Macron in the first round of voting on April 10.

Another recent poll suggested half of France’s young people may not bother voting at all.

READ MORE: French election second-round polls: Le Pen closing gap on Macron

What does this mean for Macron?

Voter apathy could turn out to be a big threat for President Macron, who is seeking his second term in office.

These could be a twofold disaster for the President: firstly, voters who are more likely to vote are more likely to vote for change, leading to a boost for opponents like Marine Le Pen.

Secondly, a low turnout could lead to his opponents claiming he lacks legitimacy if he does secure a second term.

It could spell chaos for June’s parliamentary elections, where Mr Macron needs to win big to push through some long-awaited reforms.

The President has been notably absent on the campaign trail in France in recent weeks, owing to the war in Ukraine, and has not taken part in televised debates between the contenders.

But even in the event of a world crisis, his rivals have accused him of failing to play his role in political life.

Marine Le Pen, Mr Macron’s main opponent, is already using his absence on the campaign trail to leverage unsure voters, having made major gains using the distraction of war to hammer home her domestic policies with the French people.

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Will Macron win the election?

Current polls predict Mr Macron is safe, but it could be by a narrower margin than anticipated.

The latest poll by Ipsos Sopra Steria Cevipof for Le Monde newspaper predicts Mr Macron will clear the first round of votes on April 10, with 26.5 percent, while Ms Le Pen will come in second with 21.5 percent.

However, it shows favourability for Mr Macron is down – a previous poll conducted March 21 to 24 found Mr Macron at 28 percent and Ms Le Pen at 17.5 percent.

If no candidate wins 50 percent of the vote in the first vote, as it seems is likely, France will move to a second round – to be held on April 24.

The poll further indicated the President would then beat Ms Le Pen in the second round run-off vote on April 24 by 54 percent to 46 percent.

A loss for Mr Macron would still be a shock – but his next term could be considerably more difficult the way things are currently going.



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