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Who will win French election 2022?

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Nicolas Sarkozy snubs centre-right hopeful in favour of Emmanuel Macron

France will vote for its new president in April in an election marked by division over the ongoing response to Covid-19, balancing the nation’s economy, tackling unemployment and questions over national identity.

In a crowded field of candidates, President Emmanuel Macron – who is yet to officially announce his candidacy – will once again attempt to stave off the French far-right, with a rising conservative candidate also threatening to split the mainstream vote.

Here is everything you need to know about the latest in the election campaign, the candidates and their chances of winning. 

1

The latest

Valerie Pecresse, the outsider centre-right hopeful in the French presidential race, has suffered a setback after Nicolas Sarkozy declined to attend her forthcoming rally in Paris.

Pecresse’s campaign “has been widely criticised as uninspiring since her designation” as the Republicans’ contender, The Times said. But she hoped Sarkozy “would be present in the front row of a rally being touted by her supporters as a chance for a new start”.

The former president has “let it be known that he will be otherwise engaged on Sunday”, the paper reported, “heightening concern in the Pecresse camp over his reluctance to back her publicly”.

Macron has been handed a further boost through the endorsement of Eric Woerth, a labour and budget minister in governments led by Sarkozy. The announcement had “raised questions about the possible stance of Sarkozy in the election”, France 24 said.

Making his support for Macron public, Woerth said that he did not “subscribe” to the arguments being put forward by Pecresse and her party, describing the serving president as the best option to “defend the interests of France and the French” in April’s election. 

His refusal to attend Pecresse’s forthcoming rally have added fuel to the fire of French media reports that are already “awash with reports that Sarkozy is critical” of her campaign”, The Times said.

She has come under fire for an “absence of eye-catching pledges”. But Sarkozy is reportedly “angry she has failed to mention him as her inspiration”, preferring instead to “pay tribute to the late centre-right president Jacques Chirac, whom Sarkozy disliked”.

2

The candidates

While he is yet to officially declare his candidacy, Emmanuel Macron is widely considered the favourite to win re-election come April. The serving president is expected to tout “new foreign investment projects in France and a booming economy as proof his economic reforms have been bearing fruit” after four years in the role, Reuters said.

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Macron, who leads La République En Marche (Republic Forward), has also set himself up for a conflict with those who refuse to be vaccinated, “ramping up his rhetoric against France’s minority of non-vaccinated people – less than 10% of the population – in part as a way of setting the political battle lines for the election”, The Guardian reported.

Valerie Pecresse, the candidate for the centre-right Républicains, declared her candidacy in July 2021 following the party’s internal primary. Nicknamed “the bulldozer”, she has stated that she will be France’s first female president, describing herself as “one-third Thatcher and two-thirds Merkel”, France 24 said.

Running for a third time, Marine Le Pen is once again the candidate for her far-right Rassemblement national (National Rally) party. The daughter of the party’s founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is opposed to globalisation, which she has previously blamed for negative economic trends, as well as standing against any expansion in the EU’s power.

She has previously called for a referendum on leaving the bloc, but since 2019 has said she no longer advocates France leaving the EU or the euro currency. Her party also calls for the “de-Islamisation” of French society, while Le Pen has argued in favour of the establishment of a privileged partnership with Russia.

Unlike previous campaigns, she has “bet on dropping the populist messaging that once characterised her”, The New York Times (NYT) said, pushing efforts to “un-demonize” her party and its association “with flashes of antisemitism and xenophobia”.

Le Pen’s decision to detoxify her image is in part a result of the rise of far-right candidate Eric Zemmour. Dubbed “the French Donald Trump” by Politico, the controversial former television pundit is racking up “far more prime-time TV slots and front-page stories than many of his rivals”.

Zemmour “admires the former US president”, according to The Guardian’s Paris correspondent Angelique Chrisafis, and has been “convicted for inciting racial hatred”. But those criminal convictions have not stopped his “meteoric” rise to fame as first a journalist and now the “new face” of the French far-right. 

From the left of the French political spectrum, Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the socialist Groupe La France insoumise, is also running for the top job. Like Le Pen, he is also on his third crack at winning the presidency. 

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A socialist, he stands for increased labour rights and the expansion of French welfare programmes. He also argues in favour of mass redistribution of wealth to rectify socioeconomic inequality and is an outspoken critic of the EU, which he claims has been corrupted and is now a tool for neoliberal ideology.

Christiane Taubira, the leftist unity candidate elected during the unofficial “people’s primary”, previously served as justice minister under president Francois Hollande. She also sat in the National Assembly of France for French Guiana from 1993 to 2012 and was a member of the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999.

Following her victory in the vote to select a candidate to lead the French left’s presidential campaign, she told activists: “We want a united left, we want a strong left and we have a great road in front of us.”

But the primary was “dogged by serious drawbacks”, France 24 said, including “the upfront refusal” by a number of leftist candidates “to pay any attention to its result”.

3

How the election works

The public will go to the polls and place their first votes on 10 April. 

If no candidate wins 50% of the vote, which the polls suggest is very unlikely, the election continues into a second-round run-off. In the second round, the top two candidates from the first round compete and the candidate with a majority wins. 

4

Who is leading in the polls?

According to Politico’s “Poll of Polls”, Macron leads the pack of candidates and would mop up 24% of first-round voters. He is ahead of Le Pen (17%), Pecresse (16%), Zemmour (13%) and Mélenchon (10%). Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who announced an outsider pitch for the presidency in September 2021, trails the leading pack on just 3%. 

The news site’s tracker suggests that Macron has increased his share of the first-round vote by one percentage point since he won in 2017 and that he would win a second-round run-off vote with 57% of the vote. Le Pen is forecast to pick up 43% of the vote in the second round, with Pecresse touted to run a closer race with 47% of the vote. 

This is reflected in the bookies’ odds*, which give Macron a 1/3 chance of retaining the presidency. Pecresse has shortest odds of 4/1, compared with 10/1 for Le Pen. Zemmour is on 12/1, while Melenchon trails on 20/1.

@theweek

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Economy

The Economic Consequences of Elections: A Perspective from Nedbank

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Introduction

Elections are an integral part of any democratic society, providing citizens with the opportunity to choose their leaders and hold them accountable for their actions. However, the focus on elections can often divert attention from other pressing issues, such as fixing the economy.

In a recent statement, the Nedbank chief, Mike Brown, expressed concern that the upcoming elections could take the focus off fixing the economy, which is a cause for concern for many South Africans. In this article, we will delve deeper into the economic consequences of elections and the implications for South Africa.

The Economic Consequences of Elections
Elections can have significant economic consequences, both in the short and long term. In the short term, elections can lead to increased uncertainty, as investors and businesses may hold back on making decisions until the outcome is clear. This uncertainty can lead to a decrease in investment, which can negatively impact economic growth.

In the long term, elections can lead to policy changes that can have significant economic consequences. For example, if a new government comes into power with a different economic policy, this can lead to changes in regulations, taxes, and other economic factors that can impact businesses and investors. This can lead to a decrease in confidence in the economy, which can further impact investment and economic growth.

Nedbank’s Perspective
Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banks, has expressed concern that the upcoming elections could take the focus off fixing the economy. Mike Brown, the Nedbank chief, has stated that “the focus on the election could distract from the need to address the structural issues that are holding back the economy.” This is a concern shared by many South Africans, who are worried about the country’s economic future.

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Structural Issues in the South African Economy
South Africa’s economy has been struggling for some time, with high levels of unemployment, low economic growth, and a large budget deficit. These structural issues are complex and require significant attention and effort to address. However, the focus on elections can divert attention from these issues, making it difficult to make progress in fixing the economy.

Conclusion
Elections are an important part of any democratic society, but they can also have significant economic consequences. The focus on elections can divert attention from other pressing issues, such as fixing the economy. As the Nedbank chief has pointed out, this can seriously affect South Africa’s economic future. Attention must be given to these structural issues, regardless of the outcome of the elections. Only then can South Africa hope to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.

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Elections

Nolte: Poll Reveals Slim Majority in Favor of States Banning Trump from Ballot

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Introduction

A recent poll conducted by ABC News/Ipsos revealed that a slight majority of Americans would support the Supreme Court either disqualifying former President Donald Trump from presidential ballots across the country or letting states take that step individually. The poll results showed that 52% of Americans would support a ban on Trump, while 44% would oppose it. The remaining 4% were unsure.

The poll results indicate a sharp divide among party lines, with 90% of Democrats supporting the ban and 76% of Republicans opposing it. The poll also found that 57% of Americans believe that Trump should not run for president again in 2024, while 37% believe he should.

The implications of banning Trump from the ballot are significant, as it would be a rare move in American politics. While the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit a disqualified candidate from running, it has been done before, most recently in 1998 when former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards was barred from running for public office due to his felony conviction. The question of whether states have the right to ban candidates from the ballot is a matter of ongoing debate.

Key Takeaways

  • A slight majority of Americans would support a Supreme Court ban on former President Donald Trump from presidential ballots across the country or letting states take that step individually.
  • The poll results indicate a sharp divide among party lines, with 90% of Democrats supporting the ban and 76% of Republicans opposing it.
  • Banning Trump from the ballot would be a rare move in American politics, and the question of whether states have the right to ban candidates from the ballot is a matter of ongoing debate.

Poll Overview

Survey Methodology

According to a recent national poll conducted by Breitbart News, there is a slight majority of Americans who support states banning former President Trump from the ballot. The poll was conducted between January 6-10, 2024, and surveyed 1,500 adults across the United States. The margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The poll asked respondents, “Do you support or oppose state-level rulings barring Donald Trump from state ballots?” The results showed that 51% of respondents supported the state-level rulings, while 47% opposed them. The remaining 2% were undecided.

Demographic Breakdown

The poll also provided a demographic breakdown of the results. According to the poll, Democrats were more likely to support the state-level rulings, with 81% in favour. Meanwhile, Republicans were more likely to oppose the rulings, with 84% against. Independents were more evenly split, with 51% in favour and 48% against.

In terms of age groups, those aged 18-29 were the most supportive of the state-level rulings, with 60% in favour. The support decreased with age, with those aged 65 and over being the least supportive, with only 42% in favour.

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Finally, the poll also showed a gender divide, with women being more likely to support the state-level rulings than men. Specifically, 54% of women were in favour, while only 48% of men supported the rulings.

Overall, the poll suggests that there is a slight majority of Americans who support the state-level rulings barring former President Trump from state ballots. However, the results also indicate a significant partisan divide, with Democrats being more supportive of the rulings than Republicans.

Implications of Banning Trump

Legal Considerations

Banning a former president from running for office is a highly contentious and legally complex issue. Some legal experts argue that such bans violate the First Amendment rights of the individual, while others contend that the Constitution allows states to regulate their elections and set their qualifications for candidates.

The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution provides a possible legal basis for banning Trump from running for office. The amendment states that no person shall hold office if they have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States. A recent poll by Politico found that a majority of voters would support disqualifying Trump under the 14th Amendment.

However, legal challenges to such a ban are likely, and the issue may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. It is important to note that the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of banning a former president from running for office.

Political Repercussions

Banning Trump from running for office could have significant political repercussions. Trump remains a highly influential figure in the Republican Party, and his supporters are likely to view any attempt to ban him from running as an attack on their values and beliefs.

On the other hand, some Republicans may view a ban as an opportunity to move on from the Trump era and focus on other issues. Banning Trump could also potentially open up the field for other Republican candidates, although it is unclear who would be able to fill the void left by Trump’s departure from the political scene.

Regardless of the political implications, the decision to ban Trump from running for office will have far-reaching consequences for American democracy. Any such decision must be made carefully and with due consideration for the legal and political ramifications.

Public Reaction

Supporter Response

According to a recent poll conducted by Nolte, a slight majority of voters support states banning former President Trump from the ballot. The poll shows that 51% of voters would like the Supreme Court to either ban Trump or allow the state bans to stand [1].

Supporters of the ban argue that Trump’s actions and rhetoric have been divisive and harmful to the country. They believe that banning him from the ballot would send a message that his behaviour is unacceptable and that there are consequences for his actions. They also argue that it would prevent him from further damaging the Republican Party’s reputation and allow for a more moderate candidate to emerge.

Opposition Stance

Opponents of the ban argue that it is unconstitutional and undemocratic to prevent a candidate from running for office. They believe that it is up to the voters to decide who they want to elect and that banning a candidate from the ballot is a violation of their rights. They also argue that it would set a dangerous precedent and could be used to silence other candidates in the future.

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Opponents also point out that Trump still has a significant base of support within the Republican Party and that banning him from the ballot could lead to a split within the party. They argue that it would be better to let the voters decide in a fair and open election.

Overall, the public reaction to the idea of banning Trump from the ballot is divided, with both supporters and opponents making compelling arguments for their positions. It remains to be seen how the Supreme Court will ultimately rule on the matter.

[1] Nolte: Poll Shows Slight Majority Support States Banning Trump from Ballot

Frequently Asked Questions

What legal grounds do states have to ban a candidate from the ballot?

States have the power to regulate their election processes, including the criteria for candidates to appear on the ballot. In some cases, states can disqualify candidates who fail to meet certain requirements, such as filing deadlines or residency requirements. However, the legality of banning a candidate from the ballot solely based on their political views is a matter of debate and may be subject to legal challenges.

How does voter support influence state decisions on ballot access?

Voter support can play a significant role in shaping state decisions on ballot access. In the case of the Nolte poll, which found that a slight majority of voters would support states banning Trump from the ballot, the results could influence state lawmakers to take action. However, it is ultimately up to individual states to decide whether to ban a candidate from the ballot, and voter support is just one factor that may be considered.

What are the implications of a state banning a presidential candidate for the party’s primary process?

If a state were to ban a presidential candidate from appearing on the ballot for the party’s primary process, it could significantly impact that candidate’s chances of winning the nomination. Primary elections are a crucial step in the presidential election process, and candidates who are unable to participate in primaries may struggle to gain momentum and support from voters.

Who are the frontrunners in the current Republican primary races?

As of January 2024, the Republican primary races are still in the early stages, and no clear frontrunner has emerged. However, several candidates are considered to be top contenders, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

What are the potential consequences for the Republican party if Trump is banned from the ballot?

If Trump were to be banned from the ballot in certain states, it could have significant consequences for the Republican party. Trump remains a popular figure among many Republican voters, and his absence from the ballot could lead to decreased voter turnout and enthusiasm. Additionally, a split within the party over Trump’s candidacy could further weaken the party’s chances of winning the presidency.

How have similar situations in the past affected the outcome of primary elections?

There have been similar situations in the past where candidates have been banned from appearing on the ballot in certain states. The most recent example is the 2020 Democratic primary, where several candidates were disqualified from appearing on the ballot in certain states due to failure to meet certain requirements. However, it is difficult to say how these situations have affected the outcome of primary elections, as there are many factors that contribute to a candidate’s success or failure.

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Elections

Use of Social Media Platforms in US Elections: A Comprehensive Analysis

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iphone displaying social media application

Introduction

Social media platforms have become an integral part of modern political campaigns in the United States. With millions of Americans using social media every day, political candidates have turned to these platforms to reach out to voters, raise funds, and spread their message. The use of social media in US elections has grown significantly over the past decade, and it has had a profound impact on the way campaigns are run.

The evolution of social media in US politics has been rapid and transformative. In the early days of social media, platforms like MySpace and Friendster were used primarily for personal communication and entertainment. However, with the rise of Facebook and Twitter, social media began to play a larger role in political campaigns. Today, social media platforms are used by virtually every political candidate in the United States, from local city council races to presidential campaigns.

Key Takeaways

  • Social media has become a critical tool for political campaigns in the United States.
  • Social media strategies are constantly evolving, with candidates using these platforms to reach out to voters, raise funds, and spread their message.
  • The impact of social media on US elections has been significant, with both positive and negative effects on the democratic process.

Evolution of Social Media in US Politics

Early Adoption and Impact

Social media has become a crucial component of US politics in recent years. The early adoption of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by political candidates and parties revolutionized the way they interacted with voters. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, in 2008, only 24% of American adults used social media, and only 10% of them used it for political purposes. However, by 2012, that number had risen to 39%, and by 2020, it had reached 72%.

The impact of social media on US politics was first felt during the 2008 presidential election, when then-candidate Barack Obama used social media to engage with voters and build a grassroots movement. Obama’s social media strategy was groundbreaking at the time, and it helped him to win the election. Since then, social media has become a staple of US political campaigns, with candidates and parties using it to reach voters and mobilize support.

Rise of Social Media Campaigns

The rise of social media campaigns has been one of the most significant developments in US politics in recent years. Social media platforms have become a primary channel for political campaigns to reach voters, with candidates and parties using them to share their message, fundraise, and mobilize support.

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In 2016, the Trump campaign used social media to great effect, using targeted ads to reach specific groups of voters and building a massive following on Twitter. The success of the Trump campaign’s social media strategy has led to a renewed focus on social media by political campaigns, with candidates and parties using it to reach voters and mobilize support.

In conclusion, the evolution of social media in US politics has been a game-changer, with candidates and parties using it to engage with voters and mobilize support. The rise of social media campaigns has been particularly significant, with political campaigns using social media to reach voters, fundraise, and mobilize support.

Social Media Strategies in Political Campaigns

Social media has become an integral part of political campaigns in the United States. Candidates and political parties use various social media platforms to reach out to potential voters, engage with them, and raise funds. Here are some of the most common social media strategies used in political campaigns:

Targeted Advertising

One of the most powerful features of social media platforms is their ability to target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Political campaigns can use this feature to reach out to voters who are most likely to support them. For example, a campaign can target ads to people who have shown interest in a particular issue or who live in a specific region.

Voter Engagement and Mobilization

Social media can be used to engage with voters and mobilize them to take action. Candidates can use social media platforms to share their views on various issues, respond to voters’ questions, and organize events. Additionally, social media can be used to encourage people to vote, provide information on polling locations and hours, and share reminders about important election dates.

Fundraising and Donations

Social media has become an important tool for fundraising and donations in political campaigns. Candidates can use social media platforms to solicit donations from their supporters and provide updates on their fundraising progress. Additionally, social media can be used to organize fundraising events and share information on how donations will be used.

Overall, social media has become an essential tool for political campaigns in the United States. By using targeted advertising, voter engagement and mobilization, and fundraising and donations, candidates and political parties can reach out to potential voters and build support for their campaigns.

Influence and Misinformation

Social media platforms have become a powerful tool in shaping public opinion and influencing elections. Unfortunately, misinformation and fake news on social media have become a significant problem that can erode the public’s confidence in democracy.

Combatting Fake News

One way to combat fake news is through media literacy education. Media literacy education teaches individuals how to identify and evaluate information sources critically. By enhancing their media literacy skills, individuals can recognize fake news and misinformation and avoid sharing it on social media platforms.

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Another way to combat fake news is through fact-checking. Fact-checking involves verifying the accuracy and validity of information before sharing it. Social media platforms can provide fact-checking services to their users to help combat the spread of fake news and misinformation.

Regulation and Oversight

Regulation and oversight of social media platforms can also help combat the spread of fake news and misinformation. Governments can pass laws and regulations that hold social media platforms accountable for the content shared on their platforms. Platforms can also implement policies and procedures that help identify and remove fake news and misinformation.

It is essential to strike a balance between regulating social media platforms and preserving freedom of speech. Regulating social media platforms too heavily can stifle free expression, while failing to regulate them can allow the spread of harmful content.

In conclusion, the use of social media platforms in US elections has both positive and negative effects. While social media can be a powerful tool for shaping public opinion, it can also be used to spread misinformation and fake news. Combatting fake news and regulating social media platforms are essential steps to ensure that social media platforms are used responsibly and ethically.

Future of Social Media in Elections

Emerging Technologies and Platforms

As technology continues to evolve, new social media platforms and technologies are emerging, which could have a significant impact on future elections. For example, blockchain-based voting systems could provide a secure and transparent way to conduct elections, while augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) could revolutionize political campaigning by allowing candidates to interact with voters in new and immersive ways.

Another emerging technology is generative AI, which can create highly realistic and convincing fake videos, images, and audio. This technology could be used to spread disinformation and propaganda during election campaigns, making it more difficult to distinguish between real and fake content.

Predictions and Trends

Looking ahead, it is likely that social media will continue to play a prominent role in US elections. According to a report by Princeton University, social media platforms such as Twitter have already had a significant impact on election outcomes. The report found that Twitter lowered the Republican vote share in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, but had limited effects on Congressional elections.

One trend that is likely to continue is the use of microtargeting, which allows political campaigns to target specific groups of voters with tailored messages. This approach has been used successfully in recent elections, but has also raised concerns about the potential for political polarization and the spread of disinformation.

Overall, while social media platforms and technologies will continue to evolve, it is clear that they will remain a key factor in US elections. As such, it is important for policymakers, technology companies, and the public to work together to ensure that these platforms are used in a responsible and transparent manner, and that the integrity of the electoral process is protected.

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