Emmanuel Macron stands to be re-elected in France

Emmanuel Macron is set to be re-elected for another term as French president after defeating his right-wing extremist rival Marine Le Pen in the second round on Sunday, according to polls based on early return polls.

The victory of the liberal internationalist Macron, first elected in 2017, will mean continuity in economic and foreign policy, and the result will come as a relief for investors and for France’s EU and NATO allies in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. . A victory for Le Pen would have been a geopolitical earthquake akin to Brexit or the election of Donald Trump.

The projections on Sunday showed that Macron won about 58 percent of the vote, against 42 percent for Le Pen – although those numbers are not final and will be adjusted as the vote count progresses.

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Macron would be the first French president to be re-elected in 20 years, and the first of any since the current voting system was established in 1962 to win another term while in full control of the government – previously re-elected presidents had been in ” cohabitation “with prime ministers from rival parties dominant in the National Assembly.

However, the Eurosceptic, anti-immigration Marine Le Pen – who had promised to pull France out of NATO’s military command structure and severely curb immigration – delivered the best performance of its three Elysée Palace campaigns in the past decade.

She leaves Macron to preside over a divided France, where millions showed their support for nationalist candidates from the far right and left.

France’s right – wing extremist movement has grown politically stronger over the years, in line with nationalists and populists elsewhere in the world.

Marine Le Pen casts vote in Henin-Beaumont, northern France © Thomas Samson / AFP / Getty Images

When Macron and Le Pen competed for the first time in the round five years ago, Macron won by 66 percent to 34. In 2002, center-right Jacques Chirac defeated Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen by 82 percent to 18 after Front The national leader unexpectedly reached the second round.

Macron appeared to be vulnerable in the early stages of this year’s campaign, and at one point his lead over Le Pen narrowed to in the midst of voting errors as she crossed the country and stressed the problems of poverty and the cost of living, while she also downplayed her. divisive policies on migration, nationality and Islam.

But in the first round of elections on April 10, Macron took the lead with 28 percent of the vote ahead of Le Pen at 23 percent and the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon on the 22nd. Well over half of the votes in the first round were cast for candidates from the extreme left or right.

Over the past two weeks, Macron and Le Pen have courted Mélenchon’s 7.7 million. voters where Macron has highlighted his green credentials and Le Pen her programs to support the poor by lowering taxes on food and fuel.

The 44-year-old Macron will now aim to gain control of the National Assembly in the June parliamentary elections, without which he will fight to make laws or implement his policies.

His first period was marked by yellow vests anti-government demonstrations that began in 2018, then by the Covid-19 pandemic that swept across the world in early 2020, and finally by the invasion of Ukraine that Vladimir Putin launched in February this year.

Macron’s first – term labor reforms and tax cuts were hailed by foreign investors and French companies, as was his ‘whatever it takes’, EU-backed pandemic recovery program to help employers and workers through the corona crisis.

Many of the French, however, say they detest Macron for what they see as his arrogance and lack of concern for the poor. The so-called “Republican front,” in which voters are supposed to keep an extreme-right candidate out of power by choosing the other candidate, no matter how uncomfortable it may seem, is crumbling.

“I have mixed feelings tonight. I’m glad he won, but I’m also very uneasy that the far right is doing so well,” said Macron supporter Jackie Boissard, a finance official with European and French flags. among the president’s backers who celebrated the result near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

But Maurice Blanc, a longtime supporter of Le Pen’s right-wing extremist Rassemblement National movement, said: “We must throw all our forces into the next battle for the legislative election in order to be able to shape the country’s fate at this crucial time. “

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