Senior political allies of Emmanuel Macron have lined up to warn against complacency in France's presidential race, saying the incumbent is not certain to win despite polls showing his lead over his far-right challenger, Marine Le Pen, is widening.
The game isn't done and dusted and we certainly can't draw the conclusion that this election is already decided, Jean Castex, French prime minister, told French radio five days before Sunday's second round runoff.
We have to convince the French that Emmanuel Macron's programmes are the best for France and for them. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are put on the same level, but there are enormous differences between them. The immediate predecessor of Castex, douard Philippe, now mayor of the northern city of Le Havre and according to a recent survey, France's most popular politician has also said nothing should be taken for granted given the many election unknowns, particularly a possible low turnout.
Philippe told Le Figaro that France's Republican front the alliance of centre-right and centre-left voters that has so far excluded the far right from power was manifestly no longer a natural reflex, doubtless due to fatigue Fran ois Bayrou, another heavyweight Macron backer, told La R publique des Pyrnes that either candidate could win at this stage. We have seen voters make choices that historians later consider crazy. On Monday night, Macron made clear that he did not consider the election already won, recalling the political earthquakes of 2016 when British voters chose to leave the EU and the US electorate put Donald Trump in the White House.
Think back to what British citizens were saying hours before the UK's referendum or in the US before the Trump election: I am not voting. What is the point? Macron told the TV show C vous. The next day they regretted it, I can tell you. Since the first round of the vote on April 10th, polls suggest that increased scrutiny of Le Pen's manifesto in particular her proposals for a national preference in jobs, welfare and housing, which experts have said would violate French and EU equality laws and for the economy, described by economists as dangerous, has slowed her progress.
Macron s projected lead for Sunday's decisive second round vote now averages eight or nine percentage points across all polls, with the latest, released on Tuesday, suggesting the gap has widened from eight to 12 points since Friday.
Le Pen, who has long voiced admiration for Russia and accepted loans from Russian banks, would hand France s sovereignty to Vladimir Putin if she was elected, according to the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday.
I heard Marine Le Pen's international policy proposals This is the end of French sovereignty, Le Maire said, adding that her victory would lead to an alliance with Putin, a lack of Nato protection and cutting ties with Germany.
Castex said his government would give its resignation if Macron was elected as president in an effort to provide a new impetus for the president's centrist La R publique En Marche party in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in June.
A controversial overhaul of the pensions system is a major test of Macron's popularity, and renewing his majority is essential for him to pursue his reformist agenda, including a controversial overhaul of the pensions system.
Macron and Le Pen will be on Wednesday night in a live second round TV debate that could be critical for winning over millions of voters, especially on the left, which is traditionally a key moment in French presidential elections.
Le Pen was reportedly rehearsing with her closest aides on Tuesday in an effort to avoid the disastrous performance that was widely seen as having precipitated her defeat in 2017.