Le Pen and Macron: same words but different meanings

By Julien Longhi, professor of linguistics, Université de Cergy-Pontoise

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron are the pollsters’ favourites to go head-to-head in the second round of the French presidential elections. While they come from different backgrounds, both candidates oppose belonging to an established political “system”; both claim to represent the “people”; and both benefit from an appreciation for what is “new or novel” in French politics. They distinguish themselves, however, on subjects including the future of Europe or the Euro single currency.

In order to provide a complimentary point of view to political, economic and judicial punditry, I propose here a linguistic analysis of the candidates’ two programmes based on statistical analysis called textometry. This method of analysis highlights the specific aims of each programme as well as comparing the goals of the two candidates.

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