First estimates showed Macron garnering around 57-58 percent of the vote
PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday defeated his far-right rival Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin in what early estimates showed, securing a second term and facing a political earthquake.
First estimates showed Macron garnering around 57-58 percent of the vote. Such estimates are generally accurate but can be corrected once official results are out from across the country.
The centrist, pro-EU Macron victory will be seen by the allies as a relief to mainstream politics, which has in recent years been marked by Britain’s exit from the European Union, the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the rise of a new generation. shaken by. Nationalist leader.
Macron will join a smaller club – before him only two French presidents have managed to secure a second term. But his margin of victory looks more daunting than when he first beat Le Pen in 2017, underlining how many French are unhappy with him and his home record.
This disillusionment was reflected in polling figures, with France’s main polling institutions saying the abortion rate would be around 28 percent, the highest since 1969.
Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ensuing Western sanctions that have fueled rising fuel prices, Le Pen’s campaign noted the rising cost of living as Macron’s weak point.
He promised sharp cuts in the fuel tax, a zero percent sales tax on essential items from pasta to diapers, income discounts for young workers and a “French first” stance on jobs and welfare.
Macron meanwhile pointed to his past admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, showing that he cannot be trusted on the world stage, while insisting he still plans to pull France out of the European Union. Has been – something she denies.
What does ‘cohabitation’ signify?
In the latter part of the campaign, when he sought the support of left-leaning voters, Macron kept the Frenchman’s earlier promise of working longer, saying he would discuss plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65. were ready for
Finally, as audience polls testified after the horrific televised debate between the two last week, Le Pen’s policies – which included a proposal to ban people from wearing Muslim headscarves in public – have appealed to many Frenchmen. was at its peak.
Macron, the former merchant banker, decided to run for the presidency in 2017 and put an end to old certainties about French politics by starting his own grassroots movement – something that was set to bite him back in June’s parliamentary elections. may come.
Instead of preventing the rise of radical forces, as he called it, Macron’s non-partisan centrism has accelerated the electoral collapse of the mainstream left and right, whose two candidates contested only the first round of votes between them on April 10. Could get only 6.5%. ,
A notable winner has been staunch leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who scored 22 percent in the first round and, if his group does well in the June vote, in a strange “cohabitation” Macron’s claim to become prime minister first. Just done it.
(Additional reporting by Michelle Rose, Leigh Thomas and Gus Trompez; Writing by Mark John, Richard Lough and Ingrid Melander; Francis Carey, Raisa Kasolowski, Alexandra Hudson)