France: Villafranca (Ispi), ‘Macron not empathetic, Le Pen in trouble over Putin’

The debate between the two French presidential candidates “doesn’t seem to have changed much” in terms of electoral consensus, “there has been no blatant mistake like those committed by Le Pen in 2017” and “I would opt for a tie”, too. if in terms of content “there was no battle” with the current tenant of the Elysée “infinitely more convincing”. This was stated in an interview with Adnkronos Antonio Villafranca, director of research at Ispi, according to which his judgment does not depend “on a liking or dislike” for Macron or for Le Pen, but on the themes developed by the leader of the National Rassemblement. “Le Pen is not attentive to environmental issues and proposes greater expenses” on a social level, while at the same time focusing on an “old nationalism”, while “Macron no longer believes in French grandeur, who in fact underlined that France cannot compete for alone with powers such as the United States and China “. According to Villafranca, the president” made an effort to take off the shoes of the arrogant professor and at the beginning of the debate he succeeded, while over time a certain arrogance resurfaced and did not he managed to be empathetic and sympathetic to the end “. For her part, the ISPI expert continues, Le Pen tried to appear “the good mother of the family, but on international politics issues she did not defend herself well”, especially when Macron accused her of “being a Putin’s payroll “. Underlining how the conflict in Ukraine has affected the electoral campaign, Villafranca points out that Le Pen” has not completely abandoned her sympathies for Putin, arguing that, once the conflict is over, there must be a rapprochement between NATO and Russia “. Macron, on the other hand, was “very favored in the first phase of the war”, as “objectively he was the most exposed European leader, then in reality during the electoral campaign the main theme was purchasing power and there for the Pen was easy to regain ground. “According to Villafranca, Macron – with a 10-point lead in the polls – had” everything to lose “from last night’s debate. For the expert, the vote of the “undecided” will be fundamental, while “those who hated one of the two candidates did not change their minds. It will also be important to understand how the Melenchon electorate will move (finished third in the first round with 22%, ed. ), but I believe that a large part of its voters will abstain “.” The most worrying fact of these elections – concludes Villafranca – is that the French electorate is increasingly polarized, dividing between right or extreme right and between left or extreme left . The point is that whoever wins will find himself with most of the country strongly opposed to his positions. “