French presidential election polls infographic
Graphic shows leading presidential candidates and latest opinion polls.


Voter apathy mars French election

By Duncan Mil

April 8, 2022 - President Emmanuel Macron can claim tax cuts, an improved economy and significant European influence. Still, polls predict that 28% to 32% of eligible voters won’t bother to cast a ballot.

The latest Politico Poll of Polls puts Macron in the lead at 27 per cent, followed by Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Rally, on 22 per cent. Far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon on 17 per cent.

Politico predicts the candidates for the Socialist Party and the conservative Les Républicains will take less than 10 per cent in the first round of voting.

Macron faces his most significant challenges from the far right, whose candidates dominate the polls with issues of national identity, immigration and Islam.

In a country where politics used to be a national sport, presidential elections have long been unmissable. An Ipsos/Sopra Steria survey, carried out for France Inter radio, calculates the intention to abstain in the first round within 28 per cent to 32 per cent.

Potential abstention among young people -- those under 35 years -- could reach 40 per cent, compared to only 15 per cent among those aged 70 and over.

Although Macron is the front-runner, an unprecedented proportion of people say they are unsure who they will vote for or whether they will vote.

PUBLISHED: 08/04/2022; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images