The last debate before the vote

The last debate to make their choice. That is what French electors will watch tonight on the two main French TV channels. Here is all the info about it.


The debate will be on Wednesday 3rd of May at 9pm (French time). It will last for approximately 2h30.


If you want to watch it on TV or on the web, TF1 and France 2, the two main French TV Channels are broadcasting it.

BFM TV, a major news channel, asked to join the two channels but unsuccessfully. On Europe 1, a French radio station, Hervé Béroud, BFM TV’s director, said that he regretted this decision but he will still broadcast the debate. Indeed, TF1 and France 2 are allowing TV and radio news stations to broadcast it.

If you are in London, you can watch it with other French citizens living in the British capital. The UK branch of the Parti Socialiste and En Marche! (Macron’s movement) are showing it in two pubs in London.

Here are all the addresses and links to watch it on your computer:


In English


In French


France 2:





France Info:

Pubs in London

Parti Socialiste: The Hoop and the Toy – 34 Thurloe Pl, SW7 2HQ Londres

En Marche!: The Square Pig – 30-32 Procter Street Holborn, WC1V 6NX Londres

The Form

The debate will be a classic one, identical to every debate between two rounds since several elections. This specific debate is a kind of institution in France.

The two candidates will face each other, sitting on either side of a big table. In-between, two journalists, a woman and a man to save the parity, will ask questions and organise the show.

Here, no public reacting loudly to punchlines like in the US but just these four protagonists.

The entire debate is supervised by the CSA (French TV and radio regulatory body). According to a random draw, Marine Le Pen will start the debate and Emmanuel Macron will conclude it. The Front National’s candidate will stand on the right of the screen and the En Marche! candidate on the left.  

What are we going to talk about?

The two presenters have prepared around sixty questions. They want to clarify some stories such as the situation with the Whirlpool factory. They will call for more precise angles during the debate but generally, the journalists will check at the speaking time of each candidate.

Emmanuel Macron talking to Marine Le Pen in “Le Grand Débat” (Crédits: BFMTV)


A first in many fields

This is going to be the first debate opposing a so called “republican” candidate to a Front National one. In 2002, Jacques Chirac refused to debate in front of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father. Also, both candidates never acceded to the second round of the presidential election in their political careers and never really faced the French public as they did not even go through primaries.

At the end of this confrontation, the candidates have a lot to lose and less to win but in all the previous elections, this debate never changed the result predicted before it. 

Jacques Chirac refused to debate with Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002

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