Audiences, cameras, duration… The history of the debate between the two rounds in figures

Marine Le Pen versus Emmanuel Macron, return match. Five years after their first duel, the two candidates for the presidency of the Republic will face each other for more than two hours as part of the debate between the two rounds. An exercise launched by François Mitterrand and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in 1974 to which all the finalists have since lent themselves, with the exception of Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002. In five decades, the political meeting has kept its fundamentals but has undergone some changes. Back to the figures that marked the seven previous debates and the eighth to come.

An audience halved in forty years

When counting the biggest television audiences at the end of the year, there is no doubt that the debate of the second round of the presidential election this Wednesday will be part of the top 10. However, it will not occupy perhaps not the first place since in forty years, the scores of this interview have been halved. Five years ago, the meeting between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron attracted 16.5 million people, the lowest audience for an inter-round debate in the history of the Fifth Republic. . Conversely, this number is estimated at 30 million in 1981 for the duel Valéry Giscard d’Estaing / François Mitterrand, just like that which opposed Jacques Chirac to François Mitterrand in 1988.

A duration that varies between 1h41 and 2h50

“Me President of the Republic, I will not be the leader of the majority”. Thus began François Hollande’s anaphora in 2012, lasting approximately three minutes. A tiny time compared to the total length of the debate which was spread over two hours and fifty minutes precisely. This is the longest meeting between two candidates for the presidency of the Republic We are far from the match between François Mitterrand and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing which had lasted “only” 1h41 in 1974. The debate between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron should last two and a half hours, the same as their first duel in 2017.

About twenty cameras directed by a single man

Two candidates, two journalists. The calculation is not very complicated: there will only be four people on set this Wednesday evening. However, the device is worthy of the biggest TV shows like The Voice. A total of 23 cameras (three more than in 2017) will be available to director Didier Froehly, who usually orchestrates Dance with the stars, ninja warrior or the French selection for Eurovision. All should not be used, unless there is a last minute glitch, since seven of them will only be used in the event of a technical problem according to The Parisian. That’s for video recording. But since the debate is above all a question of words, four microphones will also record their speeches: two will be placed on them and the other two on their desks.

Is it better to sit on the left or on the right of the screen?

We know that we sometimes ask stupid questions but this one has the merit of being (a little) funny. Every debate owes part of its history to chance. In particular, the name of the candidate who will speak first and their placement on the screen are chosen by lot. So is it better to be seated on the left or on the right if you want to have a better chance of reaching the top job? The result is close but it is the person placed geographically on the right who wins, as evidenced by the victories of François Mitterrand in 1988, Jacques Chirac in 1995, Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 and Emmanuel Macron in 2017. she or will a gap widen in these statistics? Answer Sunday at 8 p.m.

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