French President Emmanuel Macron will launch his re-election bid on March 5 with an inaugural campaign rally in Marseille, three sources in his centrist republic on Moving (LREM) party told Agence France-Presse (AFP) yesterday.
Opinion polls have consistently indicated that Macron, who should officially declare his candidacy next week, is likely to come out on High in the first round of vote on April 10.
Yet the polls also suggest that securing a second five-year term in the run-off vote two weeks later is far from a foregone conclusion, car Macron does face to strong opposition from far-right parties.
The extreme right vote East currently shared between two candidates, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, closely followed by the conservative candidate Valérie Pécresse.
Macron, a former investment banker and economy minister under the socialist president François Hollande, swept away power in 2017 as an outsider candidate of “neither the right nor the left”, promising far-reaching reforms to shake up up French economy.
He moved quickly to cut taxes and ease labor laws in an offer to stir up growth and pushed through a redesign of SNCF despite the fierce resistance of the unions.
Yet he also drew anger for policies meant to favor the wealthy and a fuel tax increase that has impacted rural areas and small-city France, in particular, started the fire “yellow vest” protests in 2018 and 2019 that forced him to make a series of concessions for low-income households.
Macron’s rivals accused him of stifling debate over his record by refusing to officially declare his candidacy until last minutes, and son team indicated that it is little probable that he participates in an upcoming debate of the first round.
The president has instead projected an image of a being busy with global affairs and son failure preventing Vladimir Putin from sending Russian troops into dissident Ukrainian enclaves could expose him to attacks of naivety or political miscalculation.
But analysts say Macron could also get credit for trying against the chances of avoiding conflict, bolstering his credentials as a valued statesman on the international stage.
An Elabe poll published yesterday on place at 24.5% of those with intentions for vote in the first 18% tracking round for Le Pen, the veteran far-right leader who lost out to Macron in the second round five years ago.
Media specialist Zemmour was at 13.5%, while Pecresse slipped to fourth place at 11.5% after a Paris campaign rally this month that has been widely criticized as both stuffy and pandering to fears over immigration.
On the leftthe largest menace seems to be from the incendiary candidacy of Jean-Luc Melenchon at 11%, with the rest of the strongly divided field and struggling to gain traction.
The March 4 deadline is approaching for all the candidates to obtain the 500 mentions of elected officials to appear on voting.
While Macron and most of the others main hopes have passed this milestone, Mélenchon, Le Pen and Zemmour are still jostling for the supportinciting their sponsors to warn of a democratic deficit if they are maintained off voting.
On Tuesday, Le Pen suspended her on-ground campaign events so she team could concentrate on obtain the approximately 100 remaining mentions needed.
Others have called for reforming a system aimed at excluding “frivolous” runs, possibly by making the mentions anonymous.
Prime Minister Jean Castex on Tuesday urged the authorities to give their signatures to the stragglers, calling it a “profoundly democratic” gesture.