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France is in political crisis, according to a study assessing the nation’s mood ahead of presidential elections.
Four-fifths of voters no longer have confidence in political parties and around 40% no longer feel attached to any movement, the study by think tank Fondapol published Friday found.
Meanwhile 35% might hand in a blank ballot while 26% aren’t planning to vote at all.
Respondents listed their reasons as that they felt the candidates are unsuitable, or expected the same policies whatever the election’s outcome, or the desire to protest.
The number of people willing to vote for a radical candidate has reached the highest point since the first direct presidential election was held in 1965. Some 46% of people polled said they would vote for a candidate from the extreme right or extreme left.
The trend was even more pronounced among young voters, with 54% of 18- to 24-year-olds planning to vote for a radical politician.
There is also above-average levels of support among young voters for protest movements such as the “yellow vests” or antivaxxers.
Meanwhile the study found the electorate is shifting to the right, with 46% keen to vote for an extreme right-wing or conservative right-wing candidate.
In the event of a run-off between President Emmanuel Macron, who is running for a second term, and his radical right-wing main challenger Marine Le Pen, 31% of respondents are sure or very sure they will vote for Le Pen.
However, people rated President Emmanuel Macron’s work more positively since the pandemic and outbreak of the Ukraine war.
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