On April 24, incumbent President Emmanuel Macron won his second presidential election, making him the first French president to be re-elected in 20 years. With 28% voter abstention, this election registered France’s lowest voter turnout since 1969.
Macron, candidate for “La République en Marche!” (The Republic on The Move!) won with 58.2% of the votes against “Rassemblement National” (National Rally or RN) candidate Marine Le Pen. This battle for the presidential title was already fought in 2017’s French Presidential Election, where Macron first defeated Le Pen, with 66.1% of the vote. While this election marks an improvement for far-right Le Pen, it is certainly not a victory. In fact, many forecasts predicted a much closer vote, which may sting even more for the RN.
After the results were announced, Le Pen stated that “the fight is not over,” looking forward to the upcoming parliamentary elections. She continued explaining that the election results signify “a grave mistrust of the French people against those in power in France and Europe.” Many European leaders had indirectly expressed their support for Macron, hoping that he would maintain the French presidency for the next five years.
Additionally, many French party leaders had directly expressed their disapproval for Le Pen as potential president. President Macron addressed this on election day, stating: “Many of our compatriots voted for me not out of support for my ideas, but to block those of the extreme right. I want to thank them, and I know that I have a duty towards them in the years to come.”
President Macron seems to believe that his position as a centrist will be key to retaining his support base in the coming five years. As one of Europe’s leading powers, France and its President’s decisions maintain significant influence in global and EU politics.
Featured image by: The Washington Post.