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France Election: Macron, Mélenchon strong after debate [DW]

March 21, 2017

After a long televised debate, the first of this election, the most widely cited initial poll shows centrist liberal Macron and leftist Mélenchon making the best impression, with conservative Fillon and nationalist Le Pen immediately behind.

Macron was judged the most convincing candidate by 29 percent of viewers, according to an Elabe poll of 1,157 respondents. Leftist Jean-Luc Melechon who held his first rally in Paris at the weekend, placed second with a score of 20 percent while Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen came in one point behind at 19 percent. Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon trailed with 11 percent.

For a OpinionWay poll of of 1,037 viewers, Macron led with 24 percent followed by Fillon and Le Pen at 19 percent and Melenchon at 15 percent. Hamon was last on 10 percent.


Interestingly a strong showing by Mélenchon, who has escaped my attention previously. Running under the banner of La France Insoumise, he is an MEP, and a pretty serious leftist and a euroskeptic. He opposes not just France’s membership in the EU but also in NATO. He is a critic of neoliberalism and opposes many of the free trade agreements that are unpopular with the general public throughout the western world, opposes France’s recent labor market reforms, favors a return to 35 hour workweek and moves further along that line (yes! limit hours. it’s a simple remedy to equalize work, drive up wages, and is tried and tested – was effective in previous episodes of disruption due to progress in tech and trade).

The audience’s positive response to him is a good sign in my (very uninformed wrt/ French politics) opinion.


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