In this ECON+ podcast, we delve in to the French presidential election of 2017. The stakes of the race are high. The incumbent President, François Hollande, declined to run. His Socialist party is divided over its candidate Benoît Hamon, designated by a primary vote but judged too left-wing. Votes on the centre of both left and right are being swept up in the campaign of the maverick candidate, Emmanuel Macron, the former economy minister with no party but a political movement “En Marche” with great momentum. The centre right candidate, François Fillon, is engulfed in a fraud scandal for which he has been charged, has lost most of his supporters as a result and leads a party in disarray. On the far-right end of the spectrum, Marine Le Pen, the anti-EU leader of the populist National Front, is gaining ground. For the first time, the far-right could win France. Jean-Luc Melenchon is the candidate for the left with his movement France Insoumise. To elect the new French president, voters go to the polls twice. Unless one can get a majority of more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round (held on April 23rd this year), the two candidates who receive the highest scores face each other in the run-up (May 7th). Host Luisa Porritt leads the discussion and is joined by Julia Clavel, Alexandre Meslin, Kilian Tep, Victoria Collins and Pedro Sousa.
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