French Presidential Election is a Battle of Bad Reputations

The French presidential election is looming. The decisive election is to be held on Sunday, and in the run-up, posters across France for either of the top candidates have all been defaced, the BBC informed. 

“Fascist” “dirty liberal” “racist” “elitist” are all scrawled across posters for Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. 

It shows an election with extreme dislike for both sides. 

Maine Le Pen is used to the colorful slurs. The daughter of an infamous anti-immigration, nationalist politician who described Nazi gas chambers and the Holocaust as “a detail” of World War II, Marine Le Pen has spent years trying to escape the shadow of her far-right father. 

If the match-up between Le Pen and Macron sounds familiar, that’s because it is. 

This is Marine Le Pen’s third try for the presidency. In 2017, Macron defeated Le Pen for the presidency by a large margin. 

Experts say that on this third try, she is the softest public version of herself yet. Rather than focusing on the typical far right priorities such as law and order and immigration, she has focused on the struggling working class. 

It is part of her personal rebranding to be a patriotic centrist rather than a far-right candidate. 

Under Macron, France has taken a strong EU stance, and has supported issues like climate change. Globally, he has called for more cooperation between NATO and has tried recently to negotiate between Ukraine and Russia, albeit with little success. His approval rating within his own country hovers around 41 to 43 percent. 

But France has grown frustrated with issues like inflation, the war in Ukraine, and other issues. 

Le Pen is currently trailing slightly in the polls. Her vision is anti-immigration referendums, bans on headscarves in public spaces, and slashing France’s contributions to the EU. She also is not big on climate change, and wants to dismantle wind turbines and end subsidiaries for green energy. 

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