On the last day of campaigning in the French presidential elections a new poll conducted by Elabe for the TV channel BFM TV shows the centrist En Marche leader Emmanuel Macron pulling further ahead of his far-right rival, Marine Le PEN. The poll, which taken after Wednesday night’s vituperative debate, shows Macron’s share of the intended vote rising by three points to 62%, with Le Pen at 38%. In a final push for votes before Sunday’s poll Macron visited Rodez in the south of the country while Le Pen met with representatives of a police trade union in the northern city of Reims.
The Elabe poll partly credits the increase in Macron’s vote to a greater willingness among far-left supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon to cast their ballots for the former economy minister. It found that 54% of Mélenchon voters, whose candidate was eliminated in the second round, now intend to support Macron. This marks a 10% increase since the last poll. Le Pen’s showing among Mélenchon supporters fell by 9 points to 14%. Macron has also picked up high-profile endorsements from abroad. Most notably, former US president Barack Obama recorded a video message voicing his support for the front-runner.
“I have admired the campaign that Emmanuel Macron has run,” Obama said in the video. “I know that you face many challenges, and I want all of my friends in France to know how much I am rooting for your success. Because of how important this election is, I also want you to know that I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward.”
Another significant endorsement came from the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. In an opinion piece published in the French newspaper Le Monde, the leftist economist who fought against the Troika-imposed austerity in Greece after the financial crash, said he supported Macron without equivocation. While claiming that voters on the left have “every reason to be angry with Macron” because of his economic policies, he added that “I refuse to be part of a generation of progressive Europeans who could prevent Marine Le Pen from winning the French presidency, but did not do so.”
Polls open for voting at 8 am local time and will close in big cities like Paris, Lyon and Marseilles at 7 pm, with smaller voting stations closing an hour earlier. Exit polls will be announced from 7 pm with most regions reporting by 9 pm and the official result posted to the French Interior Ministry website shortly after.