France votes

  11 Debates

Emmanuel Macron's popularity continues to rise in France. According to recent polls, Macron stands the best chance of winning the presidential elections in April and May. If he makes it to the second round of voting the leader of the En Marche! movement would receive 66 percent of the vote, compared with 34 percent for Marine Le Pen. Europe's press is nothing short of euphoric.

France's Socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon wants to reduce working hours and backs policies for an economy that doesn't rely on growth. His main project is a basic income guaranteeing all French adults 750 euros per month. French media discuss whether such policies are viable.

Kicking off her presidential campaign Marine Le Pen has spoken out in favour of leaving the EU and introducing strict limits on immigration. Polls show the candidate of the far right Front National still in the lead in the polls, with 25 percent. The escalating scandal surrounding conservative candidate François Fillon has also put wind in her sails. Le Pen's enduring popularity poses a threat to Europe's cohesion, commentators stress.

The rapid ascent of the French conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has come to an abrupt end following reports that he got his wife Penelope Fillon a fake job as a parliament aide for which she received almost a million euros in total. Fillon, who was the favourite to win the election before the scandal broke, has seen his approval ratings plummet. Observers fear that Marine Le Pen will benefit most from the affair.

France's Socialist Party has chosen Benoît Hamon as its presidential candidate. The former education minister won the runoff vote against ex-prime minister Manuel Valls. Rather than uniting the left as they were meant to do the primaries have widened the rifts, commentators observe, with some voicing hope that a pan-European left-wing movement will form.

Observers expect the race for the presidency in France to be a tight one. The latest polls put Marine Le Pen, the candidate of the far-right Front National, in the lead with 25 to 26 percent of the vote. The conservative candidate François Fillon follows close behind with the leader of the En Marche! movement, Emmanuel Macron, in third place. Which issues will dominate the election campaign and who will be able carve to out the best position ahead of the election at the end of April?

François Hollande will not stand for re-election next year. The incumbent French president acknowledged that running for office again could pose a risk for his party. Commentators believe Hollande's decision could be a message against populism, and have already made out the favourite contender in the Socialist camp.

After his clear victory in the primaries, François Fillon will be the conservative candidate in France's presidential election next year. Seen as embodying traditional values, the former prime minister is considered an economic liberal hardliner. Commentators discuss his chances against National Front leader Le Pen should the two face each other in a second round of voting.

Using her Twitter account, Marine Le Pen was one of the first to congratulate Donald Trump. Like other far-right politicians in Europe she sees her chances as having improved after his victory. Does she now stand a better chance of becoming the next president of France? Or will she be unable to emulate Trump's success?

The French will select the conservative presidential candidate in a primary at the end of November. Ex-prime minister Alain Juppé and former president Nicolas Sarkozy are the main contenders for the post. The Socialists plan to hold a vote in January 2017. The primaries will only deepen the political divides, some commentators write. Others, however, see them as indispensable.

With six months to go before France's presidential election in April and May 2017, the incumbent head of state François Hollande is lagging far behind in the polls. Only four percent of the French are satisfied with his performance. Commentators speculate that this could push many Socialists to make an unusual decision.