French presidential debate – Live

macron_lepen2

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen went head to head on Wednesday evening in an unrelentingly aggressive TV debate ahead of France’s second round vote on Sunday. Here are the FT’s highlights of the showdown:

  • The two contenders clashed on the euro, radical Islam, immigration and jobs
  • Macron came out on top with 63% of viewer approval, while a combative Le Pen trailed with 34%, according to a poll by Elabe
  • Take a look at the FT’s poll tracker
  • For further coverage of the French presidential elections click here

The FT’s poll of polls shows that Macron maintains a strong leader over his rival, although the gap has narrowed since the first round. The current split of the vote is 59% to Macron, with Le Pen on 41%.

Like old, like new

Early in the debate, Macron reminds the audience of his opponent’s longstanding links with French politics.

“You are the heir of a name, of a political party.”

Le Pen has attempted to shake off the scandal that has plagued the National Front party, co-founded by her father Jean-Marine Le Pen. Marine expelled her father from the party in 2015 after he repeated anti-Semitic remarks.

Who is benefiting from the aggressive interruptions?

Not Macron, reckons Bruno Jeudy of Paris Match magazine

https://twitter.com/JeudyBruno/status/859856283821907968

Translation: By wanting to jump on all the balloons, interrupt without end his adversary, Macron is getting into trouble all by himself

Security: safe ground for Le Pen?

https://twitter.com/leelajacinto/status/859860498162081794

Text: Now it’s national security time & Le Pen will be on home ground. So far she’s mentioned borders, evil, Salafists, Islamists.

Is this a debate or a boxing match?

https://twitter.com/CPietralunga/status/859861999211225088

Translation: Jacques Chirac used to say you don’t debate with the far-right. That is perhaps the only conclusion from #2017leDebat

Le Pen a bit all over the place on the euro

https://twitter.com/HeleneFouquet/status/859870491296837638

Her euro policy has been an Achilles heel during the campaign, a radical policy that puts off more moderate conservative voters she needs to win the presidency

This post originally appeared on Financial Times

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