French election debate: as it happened

first_imgThe two final contenders in France’s presidential election, centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen, went head-to-head in a televised debate on Wednesday, just four days before Sunday’s decisive second round.Macron came out on top in the election’s first round on April 23, winning 24 percent of the vote ahead of Le Pen with 21.3 percent.The latest opinion polls show Macron winning the support of 59 percent of voters in the second round while 41 percent back Le Pen.POLITICO’s live blog covered all the key moments in the debate, with instant reaction and analysis. Also On POLITICO OPTICS French debate zingers over the years By Maïa de La Baume and Ivo Oliveira FirstPrev1 of 6NextLastMay 3, 201711:59 pmShare this postCynthia KroetBONNE NUITThank you for following our live coverage of the debate. Expect more stories in the run up to the second round of the presidential vote this Sunday, including two on the debate later tonight.You can follow all of our coverage on Politico.eu.May 3, 201711:53 pmShare this postCynthia KroetIN PICTURES If we had to summarize the debate in a GIF, it would be this one.Le moment le plus gênant du débat vous est offert par Marine Le Pen https://t.co/tdgcOB9Hkm pic.twitter.com/B58nr1VHGP— Le Lab (@leLab_E1) May 3, 2017— Quentin ArièsMay 3, 201711:49 pmShare this postAndrew GrayIT’S OVER… BUT WAS THAT EVEN A DEBATE?Le Pen was almost always on the attack in a chaotic debate, Macron could not really present his program and sometimes sounded like a teacher, trying to explain complex concepts to a pupil.It was very different to previous debates in this election and, in terms of the quality of the debate, by far the worst for decades ahead of the second round of a French presidential vote.— Quentin ArièsMay 3, 201711:48 pmShare this postCynthia KroetTOMORROW’S PAPERS: ‘LOW FRONT’Liberation newspaper says on Thursday’s front page that Le Pen didn’t attack on policies, but by provocation, against the reason of Macron.La Une de Libé de demain résume parfaitement la soirée (via @JFGuyot) pic.twitter.com/zZ6S6aSGgY— Rémi Jacob (@remijacob) May 3, 2017May 3, 201711:47 pmShare this postCynthia KroetTOMORROW’S PAPERS: ‘LOW FRONT’Liberation newspaper says on Thursday’s front page that Le Pen didn’t attack on policies, but by provocation, against the reason of Macron.La Une de Libé de demain résume parfaitement la soirée (via @JFGuyot) pic.twitter.com/zZ6S6aSGgY— Rémi Jacob (@remijacob) May 3, 2017May 3, 201711:42 pmShare this postAndrew GrayMACRON BY THE BOOKWhile waxing lyrical on France and its language at the end of the debate, Macron took a sudden detour… to recommend that Le Pen read his book. The book, Revolutions, outlines his vision for France. In his younger days, Macron wanted to be a writer.May 3, 201711:36 pmShare this postCynthia KroetCLOSING STATEMENTSLe Pen instead of presenting her program, attacked Macron at her closing statement. She said he he wants ‘migration motorways’ between France and Algeria and he is endorsed by radical Muslim groups.“Marine Le Pen spent her last seconds to attack me with lies instead of presenting her program,” Macron replied. He said he wants a open France, a strong Europe but “he is refusing defeat spirit for the National Front.”— Quentin ArièsLe Pen ends debate with a dismissive laugh and a reference to François Hollande. Smirking, accusations, acrimony all evening long— Nicholas Vinocur (@NicholasVinocur) May 3, 2017May 3, 201711:31 pmShare this postAndrew GrayMACRON TO LE PEN: YOU HAVE NO PLANMacron says Le Pen has no plan for France. He says her party is a parasite that has lived off the failures of the political system. Le Pen wants to divide while he wants a ‘reconciled France,’ Macron says.May 3, 201711:21 pmShare this postCynthia KroetOVER TO THE VOTERSBy all reasonable metrics a terrible night for Le Pen. But unlikely it will move the needle much. Her voters don’t care about her blunders.— Pierre Briançon (@pierrebri) May 3, 2017May 3, 201711:20 pmShare this postCynthia KroetMELENCHON COMMUNICATION ADVISER“Tonight, the absence of [ideas from] both candidates, poses the risk of being forced to vote for the least racist one: the last resort argument,” says Sophia Chikirou, communications manager of leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.Ce soir, la nullité des 2 candidats risquent de nous obliger à voter pour celui qui n’est pas raciste : l’ultime argument #2017LeDebat— Sophia Chikirou (@SoChik75) May 3, 2017May 3, 201711:18 pmShare this postCynthia KroetLE PEN INVESTIGATIONMacron on Le Pen’s legal problems:”The difference between you and me is that you are under investigation, not me.”— Nicholas Vinocur, Maia de la BaumeMay 3, 201711:11 pmShare this postCynthia KroetMELENCHON COMMUNICATION ADVISER“Tonight, the absence of [ideas from] both candidates, poses the risk of being forced to vote for the least racist one: the last resort argument,” says Sophia Chikirou, communications manager of leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.Ce soir, la nullité des 2 candidats risquent de nous obliger à voter pour celui qui n’est pas raciste : l’ultime argument #2017LeDebat— Sophia Chikirou (@SoChik75) May 3, 2017May 3, 201711:10 pmShare this postAndrew GrayCANDIDATES ON FRANCE AND THE WORLDLe Pen: “In a world that is changing, which is making choices that are the opposite of yours … I am the best placed with the India of Modi, the United States of Trump, the Russia of Putin.”Macron: “If you were elected, the world would not look at us in a nice way.”— Nicholas VinocurMay 3, 201711:08 pmShare this postCynthia KroetLE PEN’S STATEMENT ON BANKING UNIONLe Pen gets to the nuclear option in her argument about the euro, alleging that if France does not leave the euro zone, the European banking union will take savers’ money in the event of a financial crisis. “If the Strategist State, with me, does not protect the savings of French people, the French will have their savings taken from them.”Macron retorts that this is untrue.FACT CHECK Under “Banking Union” rules, savers’ money can be used, but this only goes for accounts that contain more than €100,000. Savings below this threshold remain untouched. Taking savings is a nuclear option for EU banking rules as banks will first need to have greater own resources, or shareholders will need to pay in case of a financial crisis.— Quentin Ariès, Nicholas VinocurMay 3, 201711:06 pmShare this postAndrew GrayMACRON ON FOREIGN POLICY“I have a de Gaulle-Mitterrand vision … I will propose to Mr Trump to keep working together.”He refers to the United States as “our partners” in terms of intelligence cooperation and on the U.N. Security Council.“When it comes to Mr Putin … he will have to respect the process” in Ukraine. “I will in no case be subjected to the orders of Mr Putin, and that’s main the difference between me and Marine Le Pen.”— Nicholas VinocurFirstPrev1 of 6NextLastlast_img

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