28th May 2022

French voters urged to shun Le Pen in run-off

  • Far-right contender Marine Le Pen (Photo: Emma Sofia Dedorson)
Listen to article

Four failed candidates in French elections have urged their voters to back president Emmanuel Macron in the second round to keep out far-right contender Marine Le Pen.

That was the message from centre-right candidate Valérie Pécresse, Green contender Yannick Jadot, socialist Anne Hidalgo, and Communist Fabien Roussel on Sunday (10 April).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

They spoke after Macron won the vote by a larger margin than expected — some 28 percent compared to Le Pen's 23 percent, exit polls said.

But Le Pen, a hardline eurosceptic and economic nationalist with close Kremlin ties, still poses a threat in the run-off on 24 April, prompting the calls for a cordon sanitaire.

"I will vote in conscience for Emmanuel Macron to impede Marine Le Pen from coming to power and the chaos that would result," Pécresse said after the exit polls, according to French media.

Hidalgo, Jadot, and Roussel issued similar messages.

"So that France does not tip into hatred of all against all, I ask you gravely to vote on April 24 against the Marine Le Pen's far right with a ballot for Emmanuel Macron," Hidalgo said.

But for all their support, they have little to offer the liberal incumbent.

All of them did badly — gaining just 5 percent or less in Sunday's — and Pécresse's political party colleague and star, Eric Ciotti, did not join her anti-Le Pen call.

On the far-right side, self-avowed racist Eric Zemmour and sovereignist Nicolas Dupont-Aignan are expected to urge their voters to back Le Pen.

But Zemmour did much worse than expected, with just 7 percent, while Dupont-Aignan got 2.3 percent.

And all that means the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon — who came third with 20 percent Sunday — might end up playing a kingmaker role.

Mélenchon's politics is also an anathema to Macron's economic liberalism and staunch pro-EU views.

But while Mélenchon did not tell his supporters to vote for Macron in the second round, he still found himself closer to the president than to Le Pen in terms of basic values.

He urged his backers four times in one short speech not to vote for Le Pen.

"You should not vote for Mrs Le Pen", Mélenchon said. "Le Pen should not get a single vote", he added.

"I know your anger [about social inequality in France], but don't give into it. Don't let anger make you do things that would be irreparable," Mélenchon said.

France tops mass DNA-collection in EU

France has amassed millions of DNA profiles used for criminal probes. The collection comes amid criticism of state led surveillance and heavy handed police.


Le Pen's new EU rhetoric masks same old ideas

Le Pen has switched from talk of Frexit to talk of primacy of French law — but her softer language masks just as hard an attack on the EU project as ever.


Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.


The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us