X-ray of the vote in the first round

The current French president, Emmanuel Macron, has been the winner of the first round of the French elections held this Sunday. As happened in 2017, his triumph comes from the hand of older vote, with higher incomes, more studies and residing in large cities. To beat Marine Le Pen -favorite in the working class and with less income- in the second round Macron it will also have to conquer the younger electorate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

The following graph shows the Ipsos France vote projection for each candidacy, with figures very similar to the final result. Comparing this distribution with the disaggregated data allows us to know more about how the vote is distributed based on socioeconomic variables such as age, level of education or type of employment.

Macron triumphs among voters over 70 years old

Macron is the clear favorite among the older population (from 60 years and even more among those over 70). Instead, younger voters prefer Mélenchon, which takes almost one out of every three votes in the 18 to 24 age bracket. Le Pen, for her part, is the candidate chosen by the majority of voters between the ages of 35 and 59.

The other candidate from the extreme right, Eric Zemmourobtains more support among those over 60 years of age, but also among young people between 18 and 24 years of age.

In the distribution of the vote by sex, it also stands out zemourwho with an even more radical program than Le Pen’s has achieved a significantly higher success among men: nearly twice as high as among women.

The upper classes turn to Macron once again

President Macron collects one in three votes from the most educated French population, practically ties with Le Pen with the one who has a Baccalaureate and loses among those who have not studied it, who prefer the extreme right candidate. Mélenchon slips in as a second option among the most educated.

The candidate of France Insumisa is the favorite alternative among the unemployed, closely followed by Le Pen. Among the self-employed, Macron and Mélenchon obtain similar results, while employees prefer Marine Le Pen, although not far behind.

What does the above translate to? the upper classes -those who earn more than €3,000 per month, mostly managers and workers with intermediate professions-, but retirees are also betting heavily on Macron, as happened in the 2017 elections. Mélenchon, in keeping with his young constituency, do poorly in the latter group.

The working class and employees in general -those who receive a maximum of €2,000 per month- connect better with Le Pen’s speech.

Mélenchon, favorite among the non-religious

The left candidate Mélenchon is the favorite between French society claims to have no religion or profess another other than Catholic. And among Catholics, it is Macron who clearly dominates, although Le Pen also gets support that is higher than his average result: 32% of those who declare themselves Catholic vote for him, with five points above Le Pen (27%) and nearly triple to Mélenchon’s result (11%).

Analyzing the demographic factor, the current president of France obtains his best results among residents of medium and large cities -from 10,000 inhabitants-. However, the vote of the small towns is collected by Marine Le Pen, although with a small distance from the winner of the first round.

Mélenchon sneaks in as the third option among rural or medium-sized areas -the second among the most inhabited areas-, and the best result for Zemmour comes from towns with between 2,000 and 9,999 inhabitants, where one in ten opted for the far-right candidacy.

Abstention, key in the second round

In this first round, abstention has stood at 26%. In the previous elections, the absence of vote was four points lower (22.2%), but the result of this 2022 is still far from the data registered 20 years ago, with 28.4%.

The main reasons that have discouraged part of French society revolve around the no submission of new proposals in the last five years -an important weighty reason for older people-, the lack of merit on the part of the candidates -an argument that has permeated a large part of the citizenry- and the feeling that The die is cast.

Although it might seem that the French have lost the interest in politics, only 16% of those who have abstained confirm thisand only another 16% consider that these elections are not fundamental in their lives or for the course of their country.

Federico Vacas, director of opinion and politics at IPSOS France, explains to RNE that, despite the fact that participation in the second round is usually higher than in the first, already in 2017 the reverse phenomenon was experienced and does not rule out that this year the abstention is higher. The main reason? Marine LePen. “It scares French society less than five years ago […] because he has moderated his speech relatively, […] and for the appearance of Éric Zemmour, a candidate even more to the extreme rightwhich has allowed her to appear as a relatively moderate candidate.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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