Macron went on to point out that he had succeeded in reducing unemployment in France during his presidency. “I see you don’t even mention the word ‘unemployment’ in your proposals,” Le Pen said. “I suppose that means we’ve done a good job over the past five years.”
The controversy between Macron and Le Pen is widely seen as crucial as the second and decisive round of elections approaches. Twelve candidates participated in the first round a week and a half ago. Macron and Le Pen took first and second places with 27.8 and 23.1 percent of the vote, respectively.
The French will go to the polls on Sunday to choose between the candidates. Macron is ahead of Le Pen in the polls, but his lead is not so great. And there’s a lot at stake: a relatively large number of voters have yet to make a choice.
For example, there are the French who voted for the radical left Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round. Both the liberal Macron and the far-right Le Pen are trying to win over their supporters.
For example, Le Pen previously said Melenchon voters could turn to her because she advocates for low-income people. In the discussion, she said it was her priority to return their “money” to the French, including through tax breaks and salary increases. Macron, in turn, focused on sustainability and climate, the two themes that Melenchon offered a glimpse of himself in the campaign.
Then there is the relatively large group of non-voters. Only three-quarters of French voters took part in the first round of the presidential election, the lowest turnout in 20 years. If, after the televised debate, those who stayed home decided to go to the polls in the second round, this could greatly affect the outcome.
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