French presidential election campaign

Opinion polls ordered by Macron belie claim he was elected on pension reform platform


The strong opposition to Emmanuel Macron’s proposed reform of the pension system, notably raising for most people the age of retirement on full pension rights from 62 to 64, continued on Wednesday, with another day of nationwide protests, the eighth in succession. As the reform reaches its final passage in parliament, the French president and his government insist that the reform was at the centre of his manifesto for re-election last year, and was therefore supported and legitimized by the electorate. But Mediapart can reveal that a series of opinion polls commissioned by Macron’s election campaign team belie the claim. Christophe Gueugneau and Antton Rouget report.

Sarkozy inches higher ahead of Sunday election

France — Link

Polls suggest President Nicolas Sarkozy is making up ground on Socialist Party challenger François Hollande ahead of Sunday's final play-off.

How it happened: Sarkozy falls at last chance TV debate with Hollande

France — Link

The Telegraph gives a blow-by blow account of the French presidential debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Party challenger François Hollande.

French elections in images: Sarkozy's 'real labour' Mayday call

France — Video

Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and the milestone events. Here he captures the atmosphere at Nicolas Sarkozy’s counter-May Day rally in Paris on May 1st, when the incumbent presidential election candidate, forecast by opinion surveys to be trounced by Socialist Party rival François Hollande in the final play-off on Sunday, called on his supporters to turn out en masse in support of “real labour”. The notion, he said, describes he "who gets up very early every morning and goes to bed late at night, who doesn't ask for congratulations, nor medals, nothing.”     

Tension mounts before Hollande-Sarkozy debate

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy and rival presidential election candidate François Hollande face off Wednesday evening in the one, high-stakes debate of the campaign.

Sarkozy tacks further to the Right as final election bell tolls

France — Link

Nicolas Sarkozy, running from behind before Sunday’s runoff in the French presidential election, veers sharply to the right.

French voters sees little ahead apart from gloom

France — Link

French voters share their views with The Guardian on the presidential election, the candidates, the state of the nation and its future.

Twitter users thwart French exit poll results ban with WWII codes

France — Link

Twitter users made the French presidential election a war of green Hungarian wine and red Dutch cheese to thwart laws banning early result predictions.

'Childish' Sarkozy and 'scared' Hollande trade jeers

France — Link

The camps of France's last remaining two presidential candidates swap insults as the tense last fortnight of campaigning and vote-hunting begins.

European markets slide over political uncertainty in France, Holland

France — Link

European stock markets and the euro tumbled Monday over political uncertainty in two key euro-zone countries, France and the Netherlands.

The French far-right surge sweeping Sarkozy into a political no-man's land

France — Interview

While Socialist Party presidential candidate François Hollande won the election first round on Sunday, it was far-right Front National party leader Marine Le Pen who came out of the contest the most jubilant. Her nationwide 17.9% slice of the vote was the highest the far-right has ever obtained in presidential elections, well beyond what opinion polls predicted, and has elevated her to the position of a broker of votes for the next round. For as Hollande and second-placed Nicolas Sarkozy now move on to the final play-off on May 6th, the outgoing president is now launched on a desperate and dismal chase for support from the far-right electorate. But is Marine Le Pen on the threshold of transforming the Front National into a significant and popular force on the Right, or will she more likely belly-flop from the crest of a temporary wave of protest from a politically disenfranchised section of French society? For an answer, and an explanation of her success, Michaël Hajdenberg turned to Sylvain Crépon, a sociology professor and a recognised expert researcher on the Far Right, and the Front National in particular.

French presidentials, round one: the final scores, the power balance, how the regions voted

France — Analysis

The final, official scores of the candidates in the first round of the French presidential elections show Socialist Party candidate François Hollande in the lead with 28.63% of votes cast, followed by Nicolas Sarkozy at 27.18%. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is in third spot, with 17.9% of votes cast. Radical-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon sits fourth with 11.11%, while centre-right MoDem candidate François Bayrou is in fifth position with 9.13%. Of the remaining five candidates, Green party EELV’s Eva Joly scored 2.31%, Gaullist conservative Nicolas Dupont-Aignan 1.79%, far-left NPA party candidate Philippe Poutou 1.15%, the far-left Lutte Ouvrière party’s Nathalie Arthaud 0.56%, while maverick right Jacques Cheminade of the Solidarité et Progrès party came last with 0.25%. The abstention rate among all registered voters is estimated at 21.53%, compared with 16.23% in the first round of the last presidential elections, in 2007. Mediapart presents a graphic guide to how the major candidates scored region by region, the number of votes cast for each, the power balance between Right and Left, and how the situation compares with previous elections. 

Solid turnout for French presidential first round

France — Link

Voter turnout  in the French presidential election first round Sunday was just more than 70% at 5p.m., down on 2007 but much more than in 2002.

French elections in images: Hollande ends first-round campaign in Mitterrand's steps

France — Report

American Paris-based photographer Thomas Haley is following the French presidential election campaign with a series of reportages published on Mediapart. On Friday he joined Socialist Party candidate François Hollande as his caravan swept east to the Ardennes on his last day of campaigning before the crucial first round on Sunday.

French presidential election focus: the social, industrial and economic issues, the campaign, the scandals


The French presidential elections finally begin Sunday, April 22nd, with the first-round eliminatory vote that will see just two candidates qualified for the final knock-out second round on May 6th. But just what are the issues for the French electorate, and what is the background to a poll that foreign observers describe as “one of the most interesting in decades” (CNN), “fascinating and worrisome” (Los Angeles Times), and with “the capacity not only to change the face of politics in France but Europe too” (The Guardian)? To better understand what is at stake and, importantly, as seen from within France, Mediapart presents here a selection of reports from its extensive campaign coverage.