Two politicians have officially declared their intention to become France’s first female president in next year’s spring elections
Marine Le Pen of the National Rally and the Socialist Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, both officially launched their campaigns on Sunday in what was widely expected.
Hidalgo, 62, mayor of the French capital since 2014, is the favorite to win the nomination of the Socialist Party. She launched her candidacy in the city of Rouen, in the north-west.
Le Pen, 53, leader of the French far-right party, began his campaign in the town of Fréjus, in the south of the country, by pledging to defend French “freedom”. She made Jordan Bardella, 26, the party’s acting leader as she prepares her campaign.
They join the growing list of challengers of outgoing centrist Emmanuel Macron.
Macron, 43, has yet to announce a race but is expected to. Running a candidacy in France is a necessary formality for each successive presidential election.
The poll should come down to a duel between Le Pen and Macron, as was the case last time in 2017.