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Politics Podcast: Why A Once-Fringe Candidate Is Now A Serious Contender For The French Presidency

On Sunday, French voters will head to the polls once again to choose their president for the next five years. After narrowing down the list of candidates in the first round on April 10, voters will choose between the incumbent, centrist Emmanuel Macron, and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. This runoff will serve as a rematch of the election five years ago, when a relatively unknown Macron won two-thirds of the vote. This time, however, the race appears to be much closer. According to POLITICO Europe’s “Poll of Polls,” 55 percent support Macron and 45 percent support Le Pen.

In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, Galen Druke speaks with POLITICO Europe’s Cornelius Hirsch and Clea Caulcutt about the dynamics at play in the election. As Macron has occupied the middle of the political spectrum in France, with a focus on cooperation among European nations, the opposition parties have moved toward a nationalist, populist agenda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.