France is playing continuity with Macron, but there are far right

With the re-election of Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, the French have chosen continuity at the center, but the country is becoming fragmented and the far right is a little more legitimate, analysts say.

The outgoing president can claim a convincing victory (estimated at around 58%), but he will have to be able to compose if he wants to maintain the unity of a two-part state in which he has taken precedence over extremes.

He put his presidency at the center of the challenge on Sunday night, confirming in his victory speech that the “anger and disagreement” over which the far-right project was voted for “must be answered.”

“It will be my and others’ responsibility,” he said.

Reaching around 42%, the highest ever for the far right, RN candidate Merina Lepena has shown that she now represents a large proportion of the population against the system, thanks to a successful rapprochement campaign. and the anti-elite stance, and that the far right no longer functions as a foil.

Frederik Dabi, director of the Ifop Institute, has “never had a close balance of power for a FN / RN representative to enter the second round”.

Especially because this is the third presidential election in five in 20 years, when a member of Lepena’s family, Maurassiya’s right-wing heir, enters the second round.

However, unlike in 2002 and 2017, the “Republican Front” is no longer as mobilizing, and the vote for Ms Lepena is becoming “more of a vote of support than a protest,” Mr Dabi emphasized.

Another Ifop expert, Jerome Furke, says that “if we look at FN’s long term, we are in an extremely strong dynamic that was not enough tonight, but which it intends to use immediately to project itself into the legislative elections.”

Added to this are the number of abstentions (28%), some of whom, especially among young people, no longer recognize themselves in this policy area, which represents a large part of the population who will not have chosen Emmanuel Macron.

“35% of voters either did not vote or voted abstained, which is 17 million out of 48 million who did not vote,” notes political scientist Jerome Jeffree.

And among young people, “40% of those under 25 abstained,” he added.

The results led left-wing radical leader Jean-Likel Mellenochon, who was immediately involved in the legislative battle in June, to say that Emmanuel Macron is “the worst elected president in the Fifth Republic.”

The president will have to take this into account in his administration, risking, if not a social explosion.

According to an Ipsos survey published on Sunday night, 77% of French people also say they expect problems or tensions in the country in the coming months.

– Legislature on the line of fire –

Right or wrong, Emmanuel Macron is still called the “most favorable” image of the president, and the sociology of elections de facto reveals a clear rift between two French people, one who is generally not always privileged and the other who considers himself neglected, against globalization.

This phenomenon is not typical of France and is seen elsewhere in Europe.

Mr Macron is thus achieving his best results in large urban centers, among the elderly and the wealthiest social categories, according to opinion polls. The opposite is true of Mrs Lepena, who has also achieved very good results abroad.

In addition to fighting for values, he undoubtedly benefited from this electorate’s overcoming the Covid-19 crisis – the health of many Sunday voters is cited as the determining factor – and, more generally, the fear of emptiness associated with the radical change that the far right would have won. .

But someone who has had to manage several crises in the first five years will have to deal with the art of compromise in the second if he wants to avoid a social “third round”.

“I think it will be a very difficult mandate,” the majority executive said before the vote.

This social, intergenerational and geographical divide worries the majority, especially in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, with some officials even talking about the impending “institutional crisis”.

Indeed, the presidential election confirms the repositioning (or division) of the political landscape that began five years ago with two new political forces, represented by Mr Macron and Mrs Lepén, and, to a lesser extent, Mr Melenshon’s Insumis, as well as its collapse. traditional right-wing and left-wing parties.

Legislative elections in June could further accentuate this gap, as the majority voting system with under-represented extremes and the LR and PS parties, which are still well-represented at the local level, are over-represented.

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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