Although the task is daunting, it is possible. They must defeat a wide field of candidates to be France’s first woman president. The first round of voting takes place in April. If there is no majority, the second round will take place between the top two candidates.
This could be a turning point in French politics and society, with more women candidates coming from the main political parties than ever. The French are well-known for embracing change, as they did with Macron at 39 years old. This is especially true if the challenger has new ways to solve difficult problems.
Still, to win one of the two slots in the second round, Pécresse will need to find a formula that appeals to a broad segment of the increasingly narrowing French center while also attracting a chunk of those who’ve tilted toward Le Pen and the far-right.
These two candidates are at odds with each other and now divide the long-standing hard-right minority of voters. It’s hard to see a way for either candidate beyond the first round.
With a new field of female candidates hoping to make French history, the race for the presidency is on. The French accepted the winner unquestioningly and universally in the end. That’s the one strength that was once shared, but is now missing on the other side.