Presidential election: Macron or Le Pen? Overseas France is already voting

Steph Deschamps / April 23, 2022

The polling stations open Sunday morningin mainland France. The first results will be published on Sunday evening from 8 pm.
 
Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen? The first voters from overseas and abroad are voting this Saturday, time difference obliges, for a presidential election with crucial issues. Before the opening of polling stations Sunday morning in metropolitan France for this second round very expected.
 
Off the coast of Canada, the archipelago of St. Pierre and Miquelon opened the ball at 8 am local (12 hours in Paris), becoming the first overseas territory to put a ballot in the ballot box. Guyana and the other islands of the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean will follow. 
 
Since Friday midnight, the campaign is officially over in France. Public meetings, distribution of leaflets and digital propaganda of the candidates are forbidden. Before the results on Sunday at 8pm, no interviews, polls or estimates of results can be published.
 
Some 48.7 million French people have the choice, as in 2017, between two candidates with radically opposed programs to lead a flagship country of Europe, in a particularly tense international context with a war raging on the borders of the European Union.
 
Europe, economy, purchasing power, relations with Russia, pensions, immigration: everything or almost everything separates the two rivals, who seem to embody more than ever two France, after a five-year period peppered with multiple crises, from the Yellow Vests to the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
On the one hand, Emmanuel Macron, 44 years old, who came out on top in the first round (27.85%), wants to transcend the left/right divide once again to win. Given as the favorite in the polls, he hopes to become the first president of the Fifth Republic to be re-elected by universal suffrage outside the cohabitation period. He has called for a barrage against the far right, promising lower taxes, pension reform and more ecology.
 
On the other hand, Marine Le Pen, 53 years old, aims to become the first representative of the far right - a term she rejects - and the first woman to win the Elysée. On April 10, she came in more than four points (23.15%) behind the outgoing president. She was soundly defeated five years ago (33.9% of the vote), and she intends to make a lie of the opinion polls by gathering a broad anti-Macron front on the theme of defending purchasing power and fighting immigration.
 
The arbitrator and great unknown of the election, abstention is likely to be high, even higher on Sunday than in the first round (26.31%). Just like the blank and void ballots that had reached a record in 2017, attesting to the refusal of millions of French people to choose between the two finalists.
 
Additional risk for the participation, the three school zones will be on vacation this weekend, with in particular the beginning of the spring break for the Paris region. The participation in Overseas will therefore give a first trend on Saturday.
 
Especially since the rebel leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, strong of his third place on April 10 with 21.95% of the vote at the national level, had arrived largely in the lead in the West Indies, exceeding the 50% mark in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana.
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