Macron maintains healthy lead over Le Pen despite perceived ‘lack of empathy towards French voters’

Résumé de mon intervention sur France 24, le 21 avril 2022.

As French voters head to the polls for the final round of the presidential election, FRANCE 24 is joined by Nicolas Baygert, Lecturer In Political Communication at Sciences Po and l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Based on Dr. Baygert’s analysis of the 2022 French presidential election, Macron appears to be running against himself. It’s his to lose, yet he could win over more hearts and minds just by being a little « more sympathetic, more human, » explains Dr. Baygert: « That’s the problem, the non-voters. During the five years that French people got to learn how Macron functions and his communications style, one major criticism was his arrogance and the lack of empathy towards French voters, and especially that squeezed middle class – the yellow vests, the ‘gilets jaunes’. » Dr. Baygert points out that Macron’s aggressive demeanor during this week’s debate simply fans the flames of voter animosity toward him. « When you look at the non-verbal communication of Emmanuel Macron, his facial expressions, how he behaved when Marine Le Pen was speaking, you had that condescending style that a lot of French voters, and especially the electorate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, do not like. »

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