Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election on Sunday May 7th. 98% of votes have been reported and so far, and Macron has 65.8% of them leaving Le Pen with 34.2%, which is an emphatic victory for the En Marche! Candidate. Millions of people in France abstained to vote as they couldn’t vote for far-right Le Pen and were angry with establishment and politicians. A large majority also voted for Macron as they were simply anti Le Pen, according to LPSOS.
At 39 years old, Macron will be the youngest President of France, and moreover leader since Napoleon Bonaparte. Macron’s victory was astonishing, as Macron had never stood for office before this election and ran as a candidate from a party he created in 2016, En Marche!.
Both candidates remarkably reached the second round despite running as candidates from non-establishment parties, as Le Pen had ran for the National Front, a part that only reached the second round in its history twice. Le Pen although had to change majority of the National Front’s policy positions to make it appeal to a greater audience. Le Pen won twice as more votes in the second round against Macron than her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002 when competing against Jacques Chirac. The last time Marine Le Pen ran she finished third in the Presidential elections. This clearly shows a grow in support for the National Front in recent years. The National Front is also considering changing its name after Le Pen’s defeat in order to avoid its party’s ugly past of alleged racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism, and pétainism, which experts believe make it difficult to win elections.
Macron’s victory means that France will be headed to a globalist future when defeating Le Pen’s nationalist and statist agenda. The election marks a rejection of far-right ideology in favor of centrism in France. Macron’s movement promised a renewal of French politics despite disfavoring of the current establishment in France. Macron favors socially liberal policies and a global economy, and he also promised to remain in the European Union. He also promised to invest in green jobs and decrease French dependence on Fossil fuels in attempts to limit climate change.
Macron will now have to assemble his Presidential cabinet and then prepare for parliamentary elections which will begin in June. His party has no members currently in the National Assembly and thus Macron will face major problems to govern France. Many leaders around the world have congratulated his victory, but he must get to work as soon as possible.