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'Not done and dusted!' Macron's dream of winning election played down by his own ally

World'Not done and dusted!' Macron's dream of winning election played down by his own ally

The incumbent will face Marine Le Pen in the final vote of the election this Sunday, April 24. The scene is similar to that of the 2017 election, in which Mr Macron came tops, though electoral experts believe the outcome is harder to predict this time around.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said today, on Tuesday, April 19, his ally is not guaranteed to bag another victory as the French prepare to cast their votes.

He told France inter radio: “The game is not done and dusted.

“One [poll] puts Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen on the same level. But there are key differences.”

Before voting takes place, Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen will face each other in a critical televised debate.

Reports suggest this battle of words could make or break the National Rally party leader’s chances of becoming France’s next president.

She is widely understood to have fared less well in her last presidential debate against Mr Macron, days before the 2017 vote. A successful evening could tip the favour for either candidate.

Mr Castex is not the first of the President’s allies to warn the election’s result is far from a foregone conclusion.

Others close to Mr Macron have suggested he could be particularly damaged by not having spent enough time winning over the support of working-class voters.

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Ms Le Pen has even signalled she will be willing to appoint left-wing politicians to her government if she wins the election in a move that could likely opponents to her side.

Her opponents have attempted to use the Russia-Ukraine war to tar the presidential hopefuls record.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 Ms Le Pen would “hand France’s sovereignty to Vladimir Putin and to Russia” if she was elected.

The war, and the French Government’s response to it, initially boosted Mr Macron’s approval rating, though this boost is understood to have since waned.

While a support of Mr Macron, Mr Castex said he would resign as Prime Minister if the President holds on to office in a bid to provide a “new impetus” to the Government.

This move, he stressed, was very much “the tradition”.

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