French voters go to the voting booths tomorrow. No campaigning can take place today, nor can any election polling.
The final polls show a small bounce for Marine Le Pen. One of the polls has Le Pen back into a tie with Macron.
In the wake of the terrorist gun ambush on April 20 that killed one policeman and injured two others, one has to wonder if and how the attack might impact the elections.
From Eurointelligence, by email:
Will project fear work, and if so for whom?
The gunman on the Champs-Elysées, killing one policeman and wounding two others, forced the presidential candidates last night to change their discourse on live television. Will it be a defining moment for the elections? The underlying question is whether project fear works under these circumstances. And, if so, which of the candidates will benefit?
The shooting had all the signs of a terrorist attack. It happened one hour into a live TV emission where each of the candidates had 15 minutes to explain their presidential bid. Emmanuel Macron was the first one to comment as the news came in, declaring in a solemn voice his solidarity with the victims. But he was also quick to argue against fear-mongering, saying that this is a trap by the attackers.
François Fillon, by contrast, went full-on, calling off his campaign meetings for today. Later he even suggested for the whole election campaign to be suspended on this last day of campaigning. Le Pen canceled her meetings too, Macron followed their move later in the night.
Fillon’s speech followed the one of Marine Le Pen, focusing on terrorism, security, French identity, and education. By calling for campaign suspension, Fillon bet on the emotional aspect of the attack. With this move he made it to the most cited on social media, followed by Marine Le Pen. Will this be enough to propel him into the second round?
Before the attack, however, there was clear momentum for Emmanuel Macron. The polls show him leading, ahead of Marine Le Pen. Dominique de Villepin backed Macron officially, and Nicolas Sarkozy will instruct his people to vote for him if he reaches the second round. In the news kiosks, pictures of Macron were on many magazine front pages. The media talked about his telephone conversation with Barack Obama. Many commentators see in him the only one who can muster a majority to prevent Marine Le Pen from winning. After all, who can guarantee that the left would come to vote for the much-hated Fillon, or the right for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, if they end up facing Le Pen in the second round?
The campaign officially ends at midnight tonight. No more polls or declarations until 20h on Sunday.
Assuming one believes the polls, there was a small but noticeable shift towards Le Pen and away from Fillon in the two most recent polls compared to two polls taken April 18-20. This could be noise or it could be real.
Media Backs Macron
The French media is clearly behind Macron. Does that help?
Project fear did not help in Brexit nor did a pro-Hillary media deliver the blue ribbon to her.
The four polls are all within the margin of error. It should not be a shock to see any individual candidate bumped out.
We find out on Sunday, perhaps Monday if the results are extremely close.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock