Macron to launch re-election campaign amidst heavy criticism
After the pressures of war in Ukraine limited his campaigning in France, the French President saw a drop in the polls.
French President Emmanuel Macron plans to launch his re-election campaign this week with walkabouts outside Paris and a rally within the city after the diplomatic demands of the Ukraine crisis limited his campaigning at home, leading to a drop in the polls and concerns about a poor turnout.
Macron is hoping to secure his re-election and has recently faltered two to three points in polls, with far-right Marine Le Pen inching closer.
The upcoming 10 days of campaigning are expected to be tense and perilous due to resentment about rising living costs, disappointment with the level of campaign discourse, and politics in general.
Macron said he couldn't do many rallies due to his participation in summits and diplomatic efforts concerning Ukraine.
Macron, who came to power in 2017 on the promise of transforming France with a new style of politics that was neither left nor right, is polling at around 27 percent in the first round, with Le Pen polling at around 17 percent. Le Pen is gaining popularity following a ferocious campaign against France's rising living costs.
In the final round runoff on April 24, the outcome is expected to be far closer than when he won with 66 percent five years ago, with one survey this week placing Macron at 53 percent to Le Pen's 47 percent.
Four in ten people who say they will vote are still unsure who they would vote for, adding to the uncertainty.
Most French people trust Macron to lead on the problem of Ukraine's war, but his presidential challengers on the right and left nonetheless accuse him of dodging the political discourse at home.
According to polls, the features of his manifesto that have remained in voters' minds are his initiatives on the right - increasing the retirement age to 65 and mandating jobless people to work or train 15 to 20 hours each week. Macron's support from the center-left, which was critical for his victory in 2017, has decreased, while his support from the center-right has increased.
According to analysts, Macron - whose early labor and tax changes earned him the moniker "president of the rich" – must demonstrate that he is listening to people on the ground and their problems. On a recent local radio call-in, a lady working in the health care system said Macron "wasn't there for us." Following that, in a behind-the-scenes video for his campaign, he expressed regret that she felt that way, adding he'd heard the same type of thing "in lots of places."
Opposition politicians like Marine Le Pen, leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and far-right TV analyst Éric Zemmour have slammed Macron over a senate study revealing that French ministries more than quadrupled their spending on multinational consulting companies such as McKinsey & Company between 2018 and last year.
Macron's administration has been accused of spending millions of dollars for assistance on what has been seen as a delayed deployment of Covid vaccinations. Yannick Jadot, the Green Party's candidate, branded it "indecent" to pay private advisers. Macron stated that all contracts followed the regulations.
According to Stewart Chau, a sociologist and consultant at pollsters ViaVoice, Macron's current polling remains higher than his first-round score of 24 percent five years ago.