Paris, SAEDNEWS: Macron and Le Pen face off in a presidential run-off on April 24, which polls suggest will be a much tighter race than the contest Macron handily won against Le Pen five years ago. The two finalists will once again spar in a televised debate on Wednesday, with Le Pen hoping to erase memories of the embarrassing flop that ended her hopes of pulling off an upset in 2017.
Throughout the campaign, the far-right candidate has toned down her rhetoric and sought to convey an image of calm and composure. She is expected to play by the same rulebook during Wednesday’s debate, ditching the mercurial belligerence of five years ago in favour of a more “presidential” pitch.
Le Pen, who blamed her 2017 fiasco on fatigue, has cleared her schedule this week to prepare for the make-or-break debate. To avoid being unsettled, she has made sure she will not be facing the news anchor who has repeatedly rattled her in the past: Anne-Sophie Lapix, the star presenter for France’s main public broadcaster, France 2.
It helped that the incumbent president had no greater desire to face Lapix, whom he has studiously avoided throughout the campaign (Source: FRANCE 24).