27th Mar 2023

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.


Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity

From the perspective of international relations, the EU is a rare bird indeed. Theoretically speaking it cannot even exist. The charter of the United Nations, which underlies the current system of global governance, distinguishes between states and organisations of states.


Turkey's election — the Erdoğan vs Kılıçdaroğlu showdown

Turkey goes to the polls in May for both a new parliament and new president, after incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided against a post-earthquake postponement. The parliamentary outcome is easy to predict — the presidential one less so.

Latest News

  1. Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity
  2. Finnish elections and Hungary's Nato vote in focus This WEEK
  3. EU's new critical raw materials act could be a recipe for conflict
  4. Okay, alright, AI might be useful after all
  5. Von der Leyen pledges to help return Ukrainian children
  6. EU leaders agree 1m artillery shells for Ukraine
  7. Polish abortion rights activist vows to appeal case
  8. How German business interests have shaped EU climate agenda

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: The Nordics are ready to push for gender equality
  5. Promote UkraineInvitation to the National Demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine on 25.02.2023
  6. Azerbaijan Embassy9th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and 1st Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us