We are at the gates of La Défense Arena, on the outskirts of Paris, and it is bone-chilling four degree cold. But it doesn’t seem to matter to the hundreds who have already gathered to see Emmanuel Macron at the only campaign meeting he had planned before the presidential elections. This April 10.
Instead, they are eager to hear the speech and wait with delight. The desire to touch the president. The candidate has chosen the largest event room in Europe – with capacity for 40,000 people – to take a mass bath and bet on re-election. The show is over. There are three types of lights: blue, red, and white; large screens, fireworks and smoke; and electronic music.At four o’clock the lights go out, and the countdown begins to get into the enclosure for the star of this event. It isn’t Lady Gaga and Will Smith. It’s Emmanuel Macron.
The people that are here Wearing t-shirts to support the candidateThey experience a state of euphoria. They scream with emotion, sing La Marseillaise and wave their flags while chanting the political slogan. “And one, and two… and five more years!”. Among them is Bernard, 53, who responds to LA RAZÓN with enthusiasm but without being too condescending: “I have come to listen to your speech to see if you are going to stay the course regarding the threat from Russia and the ruin of Ukraine. If Macron is unable to defend France, then he should resign.». For her part, Janine, 65, defends him tooth and nail: «In the face of all the unfair criticism he has received lately, I come to support him. He does everything he can to be president of France and the European Union. It is said that he doesn’t deal enough with Ukraine. However, I think that it is a good thing that he does. The other candidates don’t have the ability to handle the job, and they don’t know the state of national danger that we are in.
At La Défense Arena, you especially see a large crowd of young people. Men in their twenties that identify with “Manu”, the youngest candidate, are the most likely to vote for the race. One who talks to Putin while wearing a sweatshirt, sneakers and a pair of sneakershe is the only one to have realized that informal social networks can be very powerful. These rows of young people are where we find Anastasia, 25 year old: «I think Macron should put the emphasis on education, especially in those young people who go from high school to university and who have significant failure rates in the first year. They must be guided much more. Also, Its inclusive and economic vision appeals to me. that I don’t see it anywhere in the speech of the other candidates». Between expectations and spectacle, Macron triumphantly took to the podium to address the crowd for over two hours. He was interrupted only by cheers and support slogans.
The organizers of the meeting estimate that some 30,000 people attended La Défense Arena this Saturday to support Emmanuel Macron in his race for re-election. The massive support matches the latest polls that estimate at 28% of the intention to vote during the first roundThis April 10.