In his lone campaign speech before the first round of the presidential election, French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the potential of a Brexit-style election upset, in an attempt to persuade disgruntled voters and re-energize a stale campaign.
Macron finds himself on the defence a week or so before the election which is scheduled on April 10, with far-right leader Marine Le Pen launching a resurgence in the polls and the fight for the April 24 runoff tightening between the two frontrunners.
‘Look at what occurred with Brexit and so many other elections: what seemed improbable turned out to be true,’ Macron told a gathering of supporters waving flags. ‘Nothing is out of the question.’
‘The danger of extremism has reached new heights because hatred and alternative facts have become normalised in recent months and years,’ he stated. ‘We’ve grown accustomed to seeing anti-Semitic and racist authors on television shows.’
Despite the fact that he is expected to win a second term, Macron has lost ground in the polls, which attributes to a platform that includes strong, conservative initiatives like raising the state pension age to 65.
Others have criticised Macron’s election campaign as late in getting underway and lacking ‘magic.’