Presidential Elections in France

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Participate in the French Presidential Election using authentic resources from the first round of voting with this activity guide.

Students will read and discuss campaign messages from four different political parties, then cast their ballots for the party of their choice!

Tune in on Sunday, April 24th as France returns to the polls to determine their next president in a run-off between Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

Student handout (English version)

Student handout (French version)

Presidential elections in France

In France, the presidential election determines who will be elected president of the Republic for a five-year term. Since 1965, the election of the president has been by direct universal suffrage.

Any French citizen who is at least 18 years old on the eve of the first round of voting may vote, provided he or she is registered to vote.

On election day, registered voters must go to their assigned polling station. They have the option of using one of the official ballots they received by mail, or using a ballot available at the polling place.

French Presidential elections round one – April 10, 2022

The first round of the presidential election took place on April 10. The French voted, and Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen came out on top.

What do the election results of the first-round mean?

When no candidate wins the majority of the votes cast in the first round, a run-off is organized between the first two candidates. In this case, the election is between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. The official campaign for the second round began on April 15 and continues until April 22.

French Presidential election run-off – Sunday, April 24th

On April 24th, the second round of voting for the presidential election will take place. For French people living abroad in a time zone different from metropolitan France, it is possible to vote the day before, i.e., on April 23. 

On April 27th, the results are validated, and the new President of the Republic is officially proclaimed. On May 13 at the latest, the new President can take office. 

In-class activity: Mock French elections 

Below are examples of campaigns that French citizens have received and will receive through April 22nd. 

In small groups, students will read each campaign and respond to the questions below. 

Then, students will vote for the candidate they would choose to become the new President of the Republic.

Sample discussion questions

  • What differences do you notice between election campaigns in the United States and in France? 
  • From reading the campaign platforms, how are issues in France similar to issues the US is facing today? How are they different?
  • How do French political parties compare and contrast to American political parties?
  • After reading the different campaign platforms, which candidate appeals to you the most, and why?
  • If you were a campaign manager working for one of these parties, what campaign message style would you use?

 

Student handout (English version)

Student handout (French version)

Emmanuel Macron – La République en Marche (LREM)

Marine Le Pen – Rassemblement National (RN)

Jean-Luc Mélenchon – La France insoumise (LFI)

Éric Zemmour – Reconquête

Additional Resources 

For more information on the campaigns of the various candidates, visit the website of France24. 

To find summaries of the different campaigns, go to https://cerfia.fr/cerfia-2022-election-presidentielle/  

 

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