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2017 part deux: Le Pen-Macron in round two for president

Ramin Mazaheri

Press TV, Paris

The first round of the French presidential election is finished and, as expected, there will be a repeat of 2017: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will duel once again in the second round of voting.

Macron’s team brushed off recent polls that actually have Le Pen winning in the 2nd round, as she has soared in the last month to make the race a dead heat.

In a close third place, just 1% behind Le Pen was Jean-Luc Melenchon, a former Socialist Party minister who turned left.

In a bid to win over centrists, he didn’t embrace the Yellow Vests, and barring a huge cache of votes somewhere, he’s now headed home and perhaps aged out of politics.

In 4th place with a disappointing 7% was mainstream media pundit Eric Zemmour, who was seemingly given control of the campaign agenda for months despite setting new lows in Islamophobia and racism.

The mainstream conservative candidate Valerie Pecresse was a distant fifth. The so-called “Sarkozyist candidate” didn’t even get the endorsement of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The once-mighty Socialist Party might be finished after garnering less than 2%, and only the two communist candidates scored less.

Finishing a surprising 7th was Jean Lasalle, the only MP to wear a yellow vest in French Parliament, which resulted in a €1,500 fine for him.

Is Le Pen still so shocking after 5 years of Macronism and in a post-Donald Trump world? Has Macron successfully provided enough stability in a post-coronavirus landscape? We’ll have the verdict of France’s voters on April 24.

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