Illegal immigration is the main topic of the campaign in France!

In France, the electoral campaign that preceded the European elections was dominated by internal issues that were the most disturbing to citizens. Efforts by President Emmanuel Macron to make the discussion more general to Europe have largely failed; The immigration issue dominates – adding points to the right.

This year’s European Parliament elections in France are considered a test of strength before the presidential elections scheduled for 2027, which – as expected – will constitute a struggle between the candidates of the National Rally party and the centrist pro-European presidential camp. Opinion polls predict unprecedented success for the National Union in the European elections. Nearly 33% of voters intend to vote for Jordan Bardella, who opens the ZN list. Respondents.

The presidential camp, which includes the main candidate, Valerie Heyer, can count on 15.5 percent. votes and is now struggling not to fall to third place. Immediately behind him is the Socialist Party, and about 14 percent intend to vote for Raphael Glucksmann, who opens his list. Threads.

Weak presence

About 50 percent of the French may not go to vote in the European elections; It was similar in 2019.

From the beginning of the ZN campaign, the former National Front, whose long-time leader was Marine Le Pen, made immigration a major issue. Bardella said in March this year that the European elections would be a “referendum” on immigrants. According to commentators, it was a success: the daily newspaper Le Monde estimates that the topic of immigration has not occupied as much space in many previous campaigns as it does in the current one. An Ifop poll, announced in May, shows that, according to the French, immigration must be a priority for the EU in the coming years.

The presidential camp (Macron’s party, Ennahda and its allies) emphasized pro-European arguments in the election campaign and presented the positive aspects of the European Union to citizens. Marcon’s speech at the Sorbonne at the end of April, devoted to the vision of Europe’s future, was intended to guide the discussion along these lines. The end of the campaign will coincide with the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, where the French president will once again be in the spotlight.

The clash of visions and an important moment in the election campaign was the televised debate between Bardella and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal on 23 May. Political scientists believe that the dynamic debate favored the prime minister, who surprised his opponent with objective questions. However, once again, internal affairs were peeking out from behind the debate over the European Parliament elections. Two politicians from the younger generation (Bardella, 28, and Attal, 35) are seen as figures who will shape the future of French politics.

In opinion polls, the French cited purchasing power as the most important issue influencing their choice at the ballot box this year, with immigration coming in second place. The environment and France’s place in the world, which were mentioned as important before the previous European elections in 2019 and which are not the strengths of the far right, have moved to the background.

According to commentators, voters are characterized by fatigue and some disappointment with the presidential camp. Bardelli succeeded in running a convincing campaign and turning the elections, in the words of Agence France-Presse, into a “referendum against Macron.” It is not yet known what the result will be at the ballot boxes.

ml/PAP

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