Judging from the political reaction to Emanuel Macron’s French election victory, one might be wondering if Macron is the anti-Trump or if this is the Second Coming.
Emmanuel Macron was elected with 66.06% over 33.94% for Marine Le Pen, according to the latest figures. With Macron, the French chose the anti-Trump: a young, pro-European reformer, who never held elected office before. Macron proved the impossible, and this in itself is inspiring. The message is one of hope and optimism, a Barack Obama moment for France.
What about abstentions? Jean-Luc Mélenchon said last night that Le Pen de facto came in third, after Macron and those who chose the ni-ni, neither-nor. Looking at the numbers, a record high 11m who voted for Le Pen. There were 4.2million who went and voted blank, another record. Abstention was strong too with 26%. Mélenchon now counts on winning a majority in the legislative elections. Mélenchon is not the only opponent of Macron’s new movement, there is François Baroin with the Republicans, and of course the Front National.
Looking at the profile of the voters according to the Ipsos internet poll of over 4800 people between May 4 and 6, there are a couple of observations worth making:
- A majority of Mélenchon voters (52%) did vote for Macron in the end rather than abstain (17%); Among those who voted for Fillon in the first round, there were still 20% who chose Le Pen.
- Looking at the age profile, Macron received most votes from those 60 or older (over 70%) and the least from those aged 35-49 (57%).
- Those who considered themselves to find it very difficult to live with their income voted for Le Pen (69%), those who find it difficult or easy Macron (61% and 79% respectively).
- The poll also shows that a majority (61%) does not want Macron to win a majority in the legislative elections.
- Among the reasons of why they voted for Macron, 41% said to prevent Le Pen, a third voted for the political renewal that he represents, 16% for his program and 8% for his personality.
- Those who abstain, 31% reject both candidates, 28% don’t find themselves in their ideas and 16% consider their vote does not change the fact that Macron was winning.
A mere 16% voted for Macron because of his program while 41% voted for Macron just to prevent a Le Pen, and 26% abstained.
Macron may have been an “anti-trump” candidate but so would have Francios Fillon, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and my great grandmother long since passed away.
Macron my be an “anti-Trump” candidate but he is hardly the “anti-Trump”.
Finally, this is no Second Coming, nor is this a “Barrack Obama moment for France” except perhaps in the Obamacare sense.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock