Valérie Pécresse is out of any in-person events for the next few days, having tested positive for Covid.
Her team says she has only light symptoms and Pécresse announced on Twitter that she will continue campaigning remotely. She went ahead with an interview with France 2 TV channel on Thursday evening, albeit with a spate of technical problems and a poor connection.
Testée positive au #COVID je poursuis la campagne à distance et dans le respect des règles sanitaires. Toutes nos réunions sont maintenues grâce à la mobilisation de l’équipe.
— Valérie Pécresse (@vpecresse) March 24, 2022
Trips to Bordeaux and Marseille have been cancelled but a rally in Gironde will go ahead, fronted by her campaign manager and her lawyer.
The campaign of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is picking up pace, as he has been enjoying a steady rise in the polls in recent days.
Pushing hard to pick up the support of all leftist voters as the ‘useful vote’ of the left, Mélenchon says his campaign over the next few weeks will feature ‘giant rallies’ and the return of the hologram. He used hologram technology during his 2017 campaign to appear at two rallies simultaneously.
There are of course lots of election polls floating about and it’s probably best to take all of them with a slight pinch of salt.
But one interesting one is Huff Post’s animated graphic, which goes back to September 2021 and shows how the candidates have gone up or down in polling since then.
What’s quite remarkable is the stability of the polling of Emmanuel Macron, while below him challengers rise and fall.
Leader of the pack?
Popular with his own voters (or should we say not as unpopular as the rest of the candidates?) Macron also seemed to be the guy people wanted to hang out with at Thursday’s Nato summit in Brussels.
At least if you’re an amateur body language expert and have been watching the clips such as this, which seem to show Macron as considerably more popular than British PM Boris Johnson.
This footage quite painful to watch. You don’t need to be an expert in body language to wince. pic.twitter.com/MOp6OujCRx
— Mike Galsworthy 🇺🇦 (@mikegalsworthy) March 24, 2022
Emmanuel Macron is still in Brussels for a meeting of the European Council while his PM Jean Castex is hosting local Préfets at Matignon for meetings on the cost-of-living plan and arrangements to welcome Ukrainian refugees.
Over the weekend Marine Le Pen heads to the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, Philippe Poutou is hosting a meeting in Clermont-Ferrand and Anne Hidalgo is in Toulouse. Fabien Roussel is also in Toulouse, while further south Jean-Luc Mélenchon is holding a rally on the beach in Marseille.
Eric Zemmour is holding a large rally in Paris, 2pm on Sunday at Trocadéro. Some of his previous campaign events have seen violent clashes, so this might be an area to avoid.