Daily Management Review

Voter Abstention Threatens To Swing In Le Pen’s Favour As Macron's Lead Narrows,


Voter Abstention Threatens To Swing In Le Pen’s Favour As Macron's Lead Narrows,
As Emmanuel Macron's lead against far-right Marine Le Pen has narrowed ahead of the final week of the French Presidential race, his assumed grip on the keys to the Elyee Palace could be loosening.
According to the latest Opinionway poll, which saw Le Pen's campaign gaining further traction after she temporarily distanced herself from her Front National party, the centrist candidate's predicted win dipped below 60 percent for the first time since mid-March.
A notable shift from his anticipated 65 percent clear lead was seen with 59 percent to Le Pen's 41 percent, the polls now see Macron emerging victorious from May 7's second round runoff.

However, it is still very much all to play for.
However, the final outcome will largely hinge on the decision of the almost 55 percent of the population who did not back either candidate and the polls have been wrong before.
While a large proportion of French people say they will abstain entirely, it is anticipated that while more conservative members of the electorate could be inclined to back Le Pen, left-leaning voters could swing to back Macron.
According to a composite of polls taken after the first round, disheartened as they are by their choice, approximately 35 percent of Jean-Luc Melenchon backers, 24 percent of Francois Fillon supporters, and around 20 percent of Benoit Hamon voters say they will not vote.
Add to this the 22 percent of potential voters who did not turn out in the first round and the outcome is uncertain.
"Turnout is important as Le Pen's best bet to win the election is for voters who did not support Macron in the first round to stay home on Election Day," Antonio Barroso, managing director at Teneo Intelligence, said.
allegiances do not seem to have moved significantly since the first round, said Barroso, adding t that while turnout would have to be exceptionally low for Le Pen to have a "real shot."
"Rather, we are seeing an increasing number of Fillon and Melenchon voters that are saying they will stay home on 7 May."
There are a growing number of people campaigning for abstention. A number of French voters took to Twitter to campaign to boycott the election under the hashtag #SansMoiLe7Mai in the wake of the first round result.
"There is a very big complacency risk in the second round, with voters either not bothering to turn out or spoiling their ballots in protest," a Eurasia note said earlier this week.
And promoting voting in areas of the country with particularly low turnout have been prompted by a number of social groups, such as Strasbourg's Citizen Challenge.
"The game is changing," Edouard Lecerf, global director of political & opinion research at Kantar Public, said.
"If, for some reason, some of (Macron's) potential voters (those coming from other first round candidates) prefer not to go and vote (they would not cast a vote for Le Pen)… and if on the contrary, Le Pen gets the largest proportion of those who did not turn out at the first round (22 percent of potential voters) but come to join the game for the second round, the game is changing…"

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