France votes

  17 Debates

The former French prime minister Manuel Valls has announced that he will vote for the independent candidate Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election, explaining that he wants to prevent Marine Le Pen from winning. Some commentators are furious that Valls has turned his back on his own party's candidate, Socialist Benoît Hamon. Others believe Valls is doing the right thing.

Less than a month before the French presidential election Russian President Vladimir Putin has received Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, in Moscow. This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two. Commentators discuss what strategy Putin is following with the meeting.

With just under four weeks to go before the presidential election in France the independent candidate Emmanuel Macron is ahead of Front National leader Marine Le Pen in almost all the polls. The traditional Socialist and conservative parties that have governed France since the start of the 5th Republic are lagging far behind. But the race is far from over yet, commentators stress.

The five main contenders in the French presidential election exchanged blows on Monday night in the first of three televised debates. François Fillon, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen and Benoît Hamon presented their views on economic, foreign and social policy in the three and a half hour programme. What impression did the candidates make on the press?

Two of the candidates in France's presidential election, Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, want France to leave the Eurozone if they win. Coming from the far right and far left of France's political spectrum, these plans draw scathing criticism from observers.

At a meeting in Paris, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and François Bayrou, leader of the centrist party MoDem, have sealed their alliance for the spring elections. By declining to run in the presidential race Bayrou hopes to increase Macron's chances of making it into the second round and thus prevent the election of Marine Le Pen. Observers say the strategy could work but might have a negative impact on French politics.

With his popularity rating at 26 percent, Emmanuel Macron has overtaken Marine Le Pen for the first time in the polls. If the elections were held today, the candidate of the En Marche! movement would face the leader of the Front National as front runner in the second round of voting. Is Macron just a prattler, or can he really stop the advance of the far right?

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.

According to the latest polls former economy minister Emmanuel Macron would beat the head of the Front National Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting. In the wake of a scandal that compromised his credibility the conservative candidate François Fillon would come third in the first round and not make it through to the second. Commentators take a critical look at the favourite's election platform.

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.