All about identity politics? Far right sets tone in French presidential campaign
After the Covid-19 pandemic turned the world on its head, France faces crucial choices over its future. With less than seven months to go before presidential elections, why do identity politics seem to rule the airwaves? For French politics junkies, it's an unsettling start to the campaign. We ask our panel about the government's latest announcements on visa restrictions for North Africans and the unfiltered anti-Islam speech of potential candidates vying for a slice of the far right's electorate.
Meanwhile, the left is splintered, with the latest polls putting all of its candidates combined on fewer votes than the far right. What's happened to a country that just nine years ago elected a Socialist president?
As for the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron's 2017 strategy of splitting the big tent centre-left and centre-right parties seems to be working like a charm. He's gaining in the polls and is the clear frontrunner so far. What will be the issues that matter when the campaign gets going in earnest? In a nation often known for preferring revolution over reform, will it be a vote for change or continuity?
Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Sophie Pizzimenti and Imen Mellaz
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