French President Emmanuel Macron and candidate Marine Le Pen will participate in a televised debate today, just before voters head
French President Emmanuel Macron and candidate Marine Le Pen will participate in a televised debate today, just before voters head to the polls in the second round of the presidential election on Sunday.
In the first round, Macron won 27.6 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 23.4 percent. The last opportunity for the candidates to get their messages across, today’s debate will likely focus on purchasing power—the leading concern for French voters—as the costs of gas, childcare and transport increase.
While Macron’s measures have reduced unemployment and kept France’s inflation rate at 5.1%—lower than neighboring countries—Le Pen’s promises to cut taxes on energy and essential goods have resonated with many swing voters
Polling gives Macron a slight lead—54 percent to Le Pen’s 46 percent. Though the president’s advantage has increased in the days since the first-round results came in, he is struggling to gain the support of left-leaning voters, many of whom may abstain from voting.
Macron’s economic plan for a second term—expected to widen the public deficit by approximately 47 billion dollars—includes pledges to increase public spending, new tax cuts for households and businesses and incrementally pushing back the retirement age.
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