The former abstainers on the Left now voting Macron to keep out Le Pen


In 2017 a section of the French Left refused to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round against the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen because of their profound disagreement with his politics. Now, five years later, some of those same abstainers are planning to return to the voting booths for Sunday's crucial second round vote. The reason? To make sure there is no chance that Le Pen can win by default. Mathilde Goanec spoke to some of these voters who have changed their approach since 2017.

French presidential elections: how the imponderable of turnout can upset poll predictions

France — Analysis

France goes to the polls on Sunday in the first round of presidential elections, when the two highest-placed candidates out of a total of 12 will move on to the final deciding round on April 24th. While opinion surveys see a tightening race, with the far-right's Marine Le Pen closing in on Emmanuel Macron's lead, and radical-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon lying third, one of the key factors that can sway the outcome is turnout, a regular imponderable in French elections and which, as in the past, may yet upset poll predictions. Mathilde Goanec reports.

Why voters in one corner of France are quietly turning their back on politics

France — Report

The Bas-Rhin département or county in north-east France, which borders Germany, is dominated politically by the Right and far-right. Mediapart visited the region to test the mood on the ground and found that more and more local people, and especially those in rural areas, are choosing to abstain from voting. Quietly, and with no fanfare, swathes of people in this area are saying a discreet farewell to the world of politics. Mathilde Goanec reports from the towns of Drusenheim and Haguenau.

‘Slap in the face’ for Macron as French voters shun local elections

France — Link

Abstention rate estimated at 68%, and exit polls suggest Marine Le Pen’s National Rally failed to get expected support.

The long shadow of abstention hanging over France's parliamentary elections

France — Analysis

This Sunday’s first round of voting in France’s parliamentary elections is predicted to see newly-elected centrist president Emmanuel Macron’s fledgling party emerge with a resounding lead. But also forecast is a poor, and possibly record-low, turnout. Mediapart political commentator Hubert Huertas argues here that, as usual, the abstention rate will be largely ignored by those who win, and used by those who lose to hide the true significance of their defeat, while in fact it delivers a powerful political message to all parties.  

France’s disillusioned voters prepare to abstain

France — Link

Presidential election could see record abstention rate with 37% of people saying they plan to abstain in first round, against 20% in 2012 vote.