French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected Sunday, according to projections based on early ballot counts, overcoming deep divisions among voters worried about inflation and the impact of immigration on France’s national identity.
Mr. Macron garnered 58.2% of the estimated vote Sunday, while far-right leader Marine Le Pen won 41.8%, according to a projection from polling firm Ipsos.
Mr. Macron, 44 years old, becomes the first French president to secure a second term in office since 2002, when then-President Jacques Chirac beat Ms. Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in a 64-point landslide. Since then, however, the country has fractured along economic, generational and geographical lines, with wealthier urban voters gravitating toward Mr. Macron and younger, working-class voters in France’s rural areas backing Ms. Le Pen.
Mr. Macron is now under pressure to unite millions of French who cast ballots for his rivals in the election’s first-round of voting, when more than 50% of the vote went to candidates on the far right and far left.
The problem facing Macron is clear. If you consider Le Pen Extreme Right, and most do, the over half the nation favored an extreme candidate.
Heck, Le Pen alone got about 42% in the runoff.
Round One Flashback
Let's go back for another look at Round One of the French Election on April 10.
The image was preliminary, but very close.
Far Left candidate Jean Luc Melenchon got 22.0% far right candidate Eric Zemmour got 7.1% and Macron topped Le Pen 27.8% to 23.2% pitting those two in a runoff.
Those four got 80.1% of the vote with radicals (Left or Right) beating Macron 52.3% to 27.8%.
Other radicals and some centrists got 19.9%.
After round one, Melenchon told his supporters Le Pen should not get a single vote.
Well, she did.
Since the Left could not tolerate Le Pen, Macron won as expected. Yet this was reasonably close if you total Round One (Macron 27.8 + Melenchon 22.0% = 49.8%)
It's hard to see how Macron is going to govern effectively. I expect Parliament to split badly with rounds one and two on June 12 and June 19.
Macron's Big Agenda Idea
Macron's big agenda item this term is raising the retirement age from 62 to 65.
Well good luck with that, even though it needs to happen.
Neither Left Nor Right
Five years ago, Macron won on a platform of neither Left nor Right. He was allegedly the anti-establishment candidate who quickly morphed into pro-Europe establishment.
Change? Where was it?
And as in the US, France is more polarized after five years of Macron.
His saving grace, as with Trump in 2016 then Biden in 2020, the majority who wanted neither had to hold their nose and vote for one of the two.
This post originated at MishTalk.Com.
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