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politicsClosed Apr 20, 2022

French Presidential Election Debate

  • Le Pen disagrees with blocking Russian gas, oil
  • Macron says Le Pen depends on Russia financially
  • Le Pen focuses on spending power, energy
  • Macron boasts about low unemployment rate
  • Incumbent leads 55.7% to 44.3% in pre-debate polls
Here are the key takeaways from the only debate between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen before the second round of France’s presidential election on April 24.

  • Le Pen came across as better prepared and Macron more combative compared with five years ago. There were no huge surprises in the rather technical debate, which lasted more than two and a half hours
  • Neither Macron nor Le Pen had a big meltdown, and this may be viewed as a success in itself for Le Pen, who had failed in her previous confrontation with Macron in 2017. Opinion polls will tell if there’s any change in perception following tonight’s broadcast
  • Macron and Le Pen reaffirmed their positions: Macron says the vote will be a referendum on the European Union, on French-German relations and on climate policies. Le Pen insists the French will be better off on purchasing power and security under her rule
  • On the cost-of-living crisis - the key topic for French voters in this election - Le Pan touted her pledge for permanent cuts to sales and income taxes, while Macron said he would only keep price-cap measures in place until things get back to normal and he would focus on employment as a way to put more money in people’s pockets
  • Investors including John Plassard, director at Mirabaud, see no impact on markets from the debate, with investors likely to be more focused on the situation in Ukraine and comments by European Central Bank officials on Thursday