French presidential election: Macron wins second term and beats Marine Le Pen

French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin in Sunday’s election, showing early projections from four pollsters, securing a second term and heading for what would have been a political earthquake.

Initial projections from Ifop, Elabe, Opinionway and Ipsos showed that Macron secured 58.2% -57.6 of the vote. Prior to the vote, opinion polls suggest Macron would win by 56%.

Victory for the centrist, pro-European Union Macron would be hailed by Allies as a pretext for mainstream politics, which has been shaken in recent years by Britain’s exit from the European Union, the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the emergence of A new generation of nationalist leaders.

Macron wants to join a small club – only two French presidents before him have managed to secure another term. But his margin of victory seems to be narrower than when he first beat Le Pen in 2017, underscoring how many Frenchmen are still not impressed with him and his home record.

This disillusionment was reflected in the turnout figures, with France’s main polling institutes saying the number of omissions was likely to be around 28%, the highest since 1969.

In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent Western sanctions that have exacerbated a rise in fuel prices, Le Pen’s campaign took on the rising cost of living as Macron’s weak point.

She promised sharp reductions in fuel taxes, zero percent sales tax on essential goods from pasta to diapers, income exemptions for young workers and a “French first” attitude to jobs and welfare.

Macron, meanwhile, pointed to her earlier admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who showed she could not be trusted on the world stage, while insisting she still had plans to pull France out of the EU – something she denies.

‘SAMLEDER’ BEKKER?

In the latter part of the campaign, as he sought the support of left-wing voters, Macron downplayed an earlier promise to get the French to work longer and said he was open to discussion of plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.

In the end, as viewer surveys after last week’s violent TV debate between the two witnesses, Le Pen’s policy – which included a proposal to ban people from wearing Muslim headscarves in public – remained too extreme for many French people.

The former commercial banker Macron’s decision to run for president in 2017 and create his own grassroots movement from scratch put an end to the old certainties of French politics – something that may come back and bite him in the June parliamentary elections.

Instead of limiting the emergence of radical forces, as he said it would, Macron’s non-partisan centristism has accelerated the collapse of the general left and right if only two candidates between them could gather only 6.5% of the vote. first round on April 10th.

A notable winner has been the hard-line left-winger Jean-Luc Melenchon, who scored 22% in the first round and has already set his sights on becoming Macron’s prime minister in an awkward “cohabitation” if his group does well in the June vote.

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Marine Le Pen, challenger

Marine Le Pen, National Rally (Rassemblement National) party presidential candidate

Marine Le Pen, National Rally (Rassemblement National) Party Presidential Candidate | Photo credit: REUTERS

“Tonight’s result is in itself a worldwide victory (for us).”

“I fear that the five-year period that is about to begin will not break with the brutal methods of the previous one. To avoid monopolizing the power of a few, I will more than ever pursue my commitment to France and the French people with the energy, perseverance and devotion that you know me for.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian

“The French did not want a France that turned against itself.”

EU Minister Clement Beaune

“With a right wing of 40%, it shows we have to work.”

Minister of Health Olivier Veran

“We will not spoil the victory … but (far right) has its highest score ever. There will be continuity in government policy because the president has been re-elected. But we have also heard the message of the French people. There will be a change of method, the French people will be heard.

Published on

April 25, 2022

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