French voters head into the most important presidential election in decades in a bad mood. They think their country is on the wrong track, they distrust European Union institutions and they suffer from an economy in malaise, as they like to put it.
Will that translate into votes for populist candidate Marine Le Pen of the National Front? Yves Bardon, a researcher at Ipsos France, isn’t so sure. He calls it the “French paradox:” People are skeptical about their country’s future, but optimistic about their personal situation and their families.
Unemployment is way too high too, especially for youth. But some other European countries are worse.