">

Le Pen vs Macron: France prepares for last fight, with vote taking place today

On Sunday, France will vote for the leader who will take office for the next five years. As we all know, the top two contenders are still far-right Marine Le Pen and centrist incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.

If opinion polls are to be believed, Macron continues to hold a solid 10-point lead over his main competitor, a lead that is largely lacking compared to the 2017 elections which saw the same two candidates running, the incumbent winning with 66 percent. cent to 34 percent.

Read also | French presidential elections 2022 | Stream voting: how does the voting system work?

Voting has already started, for three million voters in French overseas territories and for citizens of mainland France it will start at 06:00 GMT and close 12 hours later.

It is a highly anticipated election, which will show whether Marine Le Pen has succeeded in softening her image. According to an AFP report, while Macron still remains a favourite, should Le Pen win a victory, shock waves will be felt across Europe. Left-wing European leaders like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have already pleaded with French citizens to choose Macron over Le Pen.

Watch | French presidential election 2022: who will be the next French president?

Until the end, the suitors continued to mock each other, with Macron reminding people of his rivals’ racism, an accusation she denies and Le Pen taking aim at his rival’s plan to push back the age of the retirement age 62 to 65.

Even though the far-right candidate denies the allegations of racism, people remain concerned.

Speaking to Reuters, Ghislaine Madalie, a hairdresser in Auxerre, central France, said she would vote for Emmanuel Macron. She spoke of her many clients’ plans to vote for Le Pen due to their dislike of Macron, which she says is nothing short of disastrous.

Read also | French presidential election: Macron’s lead over Le Pen widens in the polls

“I find it disastrous because she is racist,” Madalie, 36, whose family has roots in Morocco, said of Le Pen. “I am anxious, for myself and for my children.”

The stakes are enormous: if Le Pen is elected, she will be the first far-right leader in contemporary French history, as well as the first female president. Macron could become the first French president in two decades to be re-elected.

(With agency contributions)