The French go to the polls on April 23rd to cast their first vote. What are their options? What is at stake? Two journalists take a road trip across the hexagon, to find the many answers to our simple question: How are things, France?
Cosima Gill is from Germany, where she works as a television reporter for RTL. Cosi spent a lot of time in France on trips, lived three years close to its border in Switzerland and worked in France for RTL. Lisa Dupuy is a freelance journalist and editor from the Netherlands. They met during their master's in London and have since worked together on stories in France, covering the refugee camps in Calais and Dunkerque in 2016 and more recently, visiting the Front National and En Marche meetings in Lyon in February.
This year, elections are also scheduled in our own home countries - and we see many similar issues crop up in multiple Western European states. We both know France and speak the language: Cosi spent a lot of time there on holidays and trips, Lisa has a double nationality (disclaimer: she is also allowed to vote in the présidentielles).
We're taking this road trip because we want to take a closer look at the political developments in our neighbouring country.
We're driving into France with an open mind and a lot of questions. Which themes are crucial to the electorate? What are the fears and hopes for our generation?
Our road trip spans the last week of the campaign, Tuesday to Saturday, starting in the North In our first days, we will pass through Amiens, Hénin-Beaumont and Donzy, to meet the young voters and campaigners for the opposing candidates Emannuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. The last city is also the place that tends to be a thermometer for the campaign: its electorate has consistently voted for the eventual president-elect and so we're curious to see how things stand there. From. The exact route is dictated by our curiosity, interviewees, and the WiFi spots we manage to locate on the way.