Supporters of French President Emannuel Macron have used a video of Stoke-on-Trent – in an attempt to persuade voters to back him over his electoral rival Marine Le Pen. Voters across France head to the polls on Sunday for the second round of the presidential election, which will be a runoff between centrist Macron and far-right Le Pen.
An unofficial Macron support account on Twitter posted a video featuring clips of a debate between the two candidates, intercut with videos from Stoke-on-Trent, including interviews with local residents. The tweet compares the vote for Le Pen with Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union (EU), saying “Britons are paying a heavy price every day since Brexit”.
In the debate, Le Pen claims the ‘British economy has never been better’ since Brexit and refers to Macron’s ‘draft scare’ – but this contrasts with the unflattering video from Stoke-on-Trent , which focuses heavily on empty stores and businesses for sale. A voiceover speaks of ‘withering business’ in Stoke-on-Trent, saying that ‘across the city shops are closing’ – with the suggestion this is due to Brexit, which was backed by 70% of electors in the Potteries.
READ MORE: Deals have been struck for giant new warehouses being built in Stoke-on-Trent
Interviewees in the video claim voters were lied to, while one woman said she would no longer vote for Brexit. Although Le Pen is not officially in favor of France’s exit from the EU, she has called for a major restructuring of the bloc and severe cuts in immigration – with critics saying her position is a “Frexit in disguise “.
NEWSLETTER: Sign up for StokeonTrentLive email alerts straight to your inbox