The French President, Emmanuel Macrondefeated his far-right rival, Marine LePenby a comfortable margin, according to early pollster projections, securing a second term and avoiding what would have been a political earthquake.
Early projections showed Macron securing around 57%-58% of the vote. These estimates are usually exact, but may change as official results from across the country become known.
The results appeared on a giant screen in the Mars fieldat the foot of the Eiffel Towerwhere Macron supporters waved French and Union flags European Union. People hugged each other and chanted the president’s name.
Instead, a gathering of dejected Le Pen supporters erupted in boos and catcalls at the news in a sprawling reception hall on the outskirts of Paris.
Macron can expect little or no grace period after many, especially on the left, only reluctantly voted for him to prevent the far right from winning. The protests that have marred part of his first term could flare up again fairly quickly, as his plan is to push through his pro-business reforms.
“There will be continuity in the government’s policy because the president has been re-elected. But we have also heard the message from the French,” said the Minister of Health, Olivier Veranto BFM TV.
The first big challenge will be the parliamentary elections. They are just around the corner, in June, and the opposition parties, both left and right, will immediately launch a major campaign to try and vote for a parliament and government opposed to Macron.
The Ifop pollsters, Elabe, OpinionWay and Ipsos projected a 57.6 to 58.2 percent victory for Macron.
The victory of the centrist and pro-European Macron will be hailed by his allies as a respite after the shocks of recent years due to the departure of United Kingdom of the European Unionthe election in 2016 of donald trump and the rise of a new generation of nationalist leaders.
Macron will be joining a small club: only two French presidents before him have secured a second term. However, his margin of victory appears to be narrower than when he first beat Le Pen in 2017, underlining how many French remain unimpressed with him and his domestic record.
That disappointment was reflected in the turnout figures. The main survey institutes of France they said the abstention rate would likely settle at around 28%, the highest since 1969.
Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions that have exacerbated rising fuel prices, Le Pen’s campaign focused on the rising cost of living as Macron’s weak point.
He promised deep fuel tax cuts, a 0% sales tax on essential items from pasta to diapers, income exemptions for young workers and a “France first” stance on jobs and welfare. .
For his part, Macron pointed out that his rival’s admiration for Vladimir Putin in the past she has shown that she cannot be trusted on the world stage, while insisting that she stands by her plans to take France out of the EU, something she has denied.
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