Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will compete again the Presidency of France on April 24 with 97% of the votes counted. The current President of the Republic has been the most voted candidate in the elections in France, with 27.6% of the votes, while the far-right leader has achieved 23.4% of the votes, a historic result for the extreme right.
The two politicians with options to reach the Elysee take little more than three point difference after an atypical campaign marked by the war in Ukraine.
The third candidate with the most votes of the 12 who are running for these presidential elections in 2022 has been Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leftist from France Insumisa who, with 21.9% of the votes, stands as the leader of a sunken left in French politics.
The far right Eric Zemmour, of Reconquista!, has been the fourth most voted and has obtained 7.05% of the votes; Valerie Pecresse, from Los Republicanos, 4.73% and Yannick Jadot, from Europa Ecología Los Verdes, 4.58%. The Socialist Party is the protagonist of the great electoral blow, since its representative, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has barely achieved 1.7% support.
Macron calls for unity at a “decisive moment for France and Europe”
With a result without surprises, the president, Emmanuel Macron will submit in the coming days to the examination of his management of the last five years after a campaign in which he has failed to connect with the electorate due to his unsuccessful efforts to prevent the war in Ukraine. In his speech, the leader of The Republic En Marche! has asked Unit and the support of all French people disenchanted with the policy that have abstained or have not opted for it in the first roundwhile thanking his rivals who will opt for him on April 24.
“To all our compatriots who have opted for abstention or extreme voting, either because they are angry […] or because they feel insufficiently represented and heard, I want to convince them that our project responds more solidly than that of the extreme right to their fears”, he said.
The centrist candidate has recognized that nothing is written in the final stretch until the second round of the presidential elections and has recognized that France is going through a moment in these elections “decisive”. “Nothing is at stake, the debate over the next few days is decisive for our country and for Europe,” she said.
Le Pen: “I am going to be the president of all French people”
Faithful to a more discreet populist discourse in these elections, Marine Le Pen has asked for the vote from both the right and the left for the second round without support from the rest of the parties.
“I am going to be the president of all French people”, she has said, every time she has promised to build “a great national and popular project”. “What is at stake on April 24 is a choice of society and civilization,” he pointed out.
Le Pen has appealed to all the French who have not supported Macron in this first round to join his party. “It is a fundamental choice between two visions of the future: the indivision, injustice and disorder proposed by Macron or the regrouping of the French around the protection guaranteed by a fraternal framework around the idea of ancient people and nation. Those who have not voted for Macron today obviously want and should be part of this group,” he said.
Of his main opponents, Le Pen only has the support of Zemmour, the controversial journalist who in December 2021 jumped to the forefront of politics with slogans more radical than those of Le Pen. This Sunday, Zemmour has recognized his defeat, but has warned that “politically everything has changed” in France. And he has sent a message to the 7% of the electorate that has voted for him: to support Marine Le Pen in the second round, someone with whom he has “many disagreements”, in order to prevent Macron, “a man who will make everything worse if he remains in power”, revalidate mandate.
End of bipartisanship in France
French politics is undergoing an unprecedented transformation: the two major parties that have governed France in recent decades, the Socialist Party and the Republicans, have been relegated to a catastrophic 1.7% and 4.7%respectively, in a country where the sum of extremisms (the extreme right of Le Pen and Zemmour and the extreme left of Mélenchon) concentrates the majority of the vote (52.4%).
The Socialist Party, in free fall since the departure of François Hollande from the presidency, has registered its worst result in history and it only surpasses the anti-capitalist Philippe Poutou and Nathalie Arthaud. Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s bet against Macron or Le Pen has been of no use and the socialist president, Olivier Faure, has recognized a historic defeat.
Nor has the option of the conservative Republicans convinced the right-wing electorate. The president of the Paris region, Valérie Pécresse, has achieved 4.7% of the vote –has lost more than 15% of votes against François Fillon’s result in 2017– and fights to save his party from having to pay for his campaign, as established by French electoral law.
Common front against the extreme right
All the parties, except the one led by Zemmour, have formed a common front to prevent Le Pen’s victory In two weeks. The center-right candidate Pécresse, “deeply worried about the future” of a country where the extreme right has a chance to governhas assured that he will vote for Macron to prevent “France from being wiped off the map”.
Anne Hidalgo has also asked for the vote for the president, while Mélenchon called on his followers to veto Le Pen without asking for the vote for Macron. “We know who we will never vote for: not a single vote for Le Pen”has assured to the applause of his supporters, that they can be decisive for Macron’s electoral victory.
On his side have been the leader of Europe Ecology The Greens, Yannick Jadot, and the communist Fabien Roussel, who also seek to curb the extreme right with the support of their followers of Macron.
Participation goes down and abstention goes up
The liberal and pro-European model of Macron’s Republic and the nationalist model of Marine Le Pen’s National Association are the two options that have permeated a French society less interested in politics than five years ago. Thus, electoral participation has fallen almost three points and has stood at 74.8%.
Abstention, one of the keys in these elections, has increased compared to the last elections and has been 25.16%. However, the high abstention does not exceed the historical record of 2002, but it represents a threat to Macron when it comes to obtaining the necessary support to prevent Marine Le Pen from entering the Elysee on April 24. And five years after his victory against the leader of the National Association, the polls predict a much tighter face to face than in 2017: the president would win by a narrow margin of 51% to Le Pen’s 49%.