Emmanuel Macron v Marine Le Pen: who are they and what are their policies?

Jon Henley

And then there were two. France’s first-round presidential election weeded out the also-rans and some genuine contenders to leave centrist Emmanuel Macron facing far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a run-off on Sunday 7 May.

But how do they match up?

Macron v Le Pen

Emmanuel Macron

Party: En Marche! (On the Move!). Centrist: liberal economically, left socially

Age: 39

Career: Never held elected office; 2005 civil servant; 2008 investment banker; 2012 senior adviser to President François Hollande; 2014 economy minister; 2016 resigns, establishes En Marche!

In brief: polished, impassioned, internationally-minded

Policies: Remake the “failed” and “vacuous” French political system; relax labour laws; cut business taxes; reform unemployment system; encourage social mobility; cut public spending (but boost investment); shrink public sector; reduce number of MPs; establish eurozone government; hire 10,000 more police and gendarmes.

He says: “I will work over the coming fortnight so that together we can gather as many people as possible around my candidacy. The strength of this coming together will be decisive for government. The challenge this evening is not to vote against a person, but to decide to break completely with a system that has been incapable of responding to our country’s problems for 30 years.

“That’s why I want to construct a majority to govern and to transform, of new talents, in which all will have their place. I will not ask where they come from, but whether they agree with the renewal of our politics, the security of the French people, reforming society and relaunching the European project.”

Betting: 1/6 on to win second round


Marine Le Pen

Party: Front National. Far-right.

Age: 48

Career: Lawyer by training; 1998 regional councillor; 2004 MEP; 2011 president of FN; 2012 presidential candidate (18% in first round)

In brief: Imperious, theatrical, ruthlessly determined; France first.

Policies: Priority for French nationals in jobs, housing, welfare; extra tax on foreign workers and imports; proportional representation in parliament; negotiate with EU for return of “full sovereignty” including the franc; in-out referendum on EU membership; cut immigration to 10,000 a year; restrict nationality rights; hire 15,000 police; create 40,000 more prison places.

She says: “The French people now have a very simple choice: either we continue on the path to complete deregulation, or you choose France.

“You now have the chance to choose real change. This is what I propose: real change. It is time to liberate the French nation from arrogant elites who want to dictate how it must behave. Because yes, I am the candidate of the people.”

Betting: 9/2


By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes