Fragmented France

Michael Roberts Blog

The second round of the French presidential election returned the incumbent President Emmanuel Macron to a second term of office. Macron won with 58.5% of the vote against the opponent, Marine Le Pen of the right-wing nationalist National Rally, who got 41.5%. Sounds comfortable – but the voter turnout of 72% was the lowest since 1969. Moreover, Le Pen did better than in 2017, showing that Macron’s neoliberal policies of cutting pensions, reducing the health service and ‘liberalising’ the labour market have not been received well by a sizeable body of the electorate. In the first round, Macron polled only 28% of those voting, or about 21% of those eligible to vote, while Le Pen took 23%. Left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon polled 22% and nearly made the run-off, despite the ecology and other socialist candidates splitting the vote. Melenchon’s supporters abstained in large numbers in the second round, some voted…

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