World Bulletin / News Desk
Many French voters opted for Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old centrist now favourite to become the next president, just to block his far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
A poll published last week showed that 41 percent of the voters who backed him in the April 23 first round did so out of tactical considerations rather than real conviction, believing he has the best chance of defeating 48-year-old Le Pen in Sunday's run-off.
But the boyish-looking ex-banker also attracts true followers, who see his youth, pragmatism and optimism as the best remedy for a country mired in economic decline and crippling self-doubt.
"A strong turnaround, that's what I'm hoping for from Macron," said Isabelle Babin, a 55-year-old executive who joined dozens of campaigners from the candidate's "En Marche" (On The Move) movement for a symbolic march on Saturday in the city of Lyon.
The former banker aiming to become France's youngest ever president may be "smooth, preppy and a little bit of a teacher's pet", she admits.
But for Babin, his private sector experience is a breath of fresh air in a jaded political system, whose two main parties crashed out of the election in the first round.
"They cannot understand society because they are outside of it," she said of his rivals.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Mayıs 2017, 12:54