French election 2017: Second round faces MASS ABSTENTION as voters plot BOYCOTT

The French have been left with a clear choice on May 7 as they go to the polls for a second time to elect a new President.

The electorate must pick between centrist candidate Mr Macron, who is campaigning on a pro- and pro-free market ticket, or Marine Le Pen – the Front National candidate who is anti-EU and anti-globalisation.

Battle lines have clearly been draw out – but that doesn’t mean French voters are happy about the decision they now have to make.

In 2002, voters took to the streets to protest against the place of Jean-Marie Le Pen (Ms Le Pen’s father) in the second round vote.

Now in 2017 outraged voters have turned to Twitter to warn that they would abstain for the second round vote next month.

The hashtag #SansMoiLe7Mai, which literally translates as “Without Me on May 7th” has been trending since Monday morning.

Many voters insisted they would refuse to cast a ballot in the second round on May 7 because they did not want either Le Pen or Macron to lead the country.

Young voters, who have been hit hard by high unemployment levels in , referred to the “fascist Le Pen and the banker Macron”.

One twitter user said: “#SansMoiLe7Mai In the second round I won’t vote for either Le Pen the fascist or Macron the banker. Let’s go to hell and see what happens next.”

The first round of voting saw centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron pull in 24.01 per cent of support, with Ms Le Pen trailing behind at 21.30 per cent.

Francois Fillon was knocked out on 20.01 per cent, closely followed by Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.58 per cent.

Now Mr Mélenchon’s supporters are most likely to abstain in the crucial second round, according to a survey by French consulting firm Odoxa-Dentsu. 

Around 41 per cent of the left-wing candidate’s supporters say they would prefer not to vote at all than to chose between two political visions they so strongly oppose.

French political expert Thomas Guénolé, when analysing the choice ahead for leftist voters, said: “Between Le Pen, a racist and xenophobe, and Macron, who is about finance and free markets, it’s a choice between the plague and the cholera.”

But many took to twitter to blast those who were talking of abstaining.

One user said: “I don’t think #SansMoiLe7Mai is a good idea. This is how you end up with crazy political leaders. People have to go vote. I will.”

Daily Express :: World Feed

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