The French presidential run-off took multiple twists and turns, ultimately concluding Emmanuel Macron’s Victory
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, was re-elected with a majority of 59 percent of the vote, defeating the opposition candidate Marine Le Pen. According to the Ipsos-Sopra Steria polling agency, Le Pen, the leader of the Rassemblement National party, received an estimated 42 percent of the vote, considering the 30% electorate who didn’t vote. The abstention rate was the highest since the presidential run-off in 1969.
Although, the elections concluded with Emmanuel being re-elected the chances of Le Pen in the current elections were higher than ever. The marginal difference is much more than expected before the elections.
The elections were a repetition of the 2017 French election, where Emmanuel beat Marine Le Pen to become the incumbent president. The pro-EU President being re-elected has turned out as a sigh of relief for the Allies, as the country could have ended up with a very different stand for the world, especially in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, if the results were otherwise.
Emmanuel Macron, now 44 was elected as the youngest president in French history at the age of 39, and after being re-elected he became the first president to hold the presidential office for two consecutive terms since 2002.
Macron was visibly moved on the Champ de Mars stage in Paris, where he delivered his victory address. He praised the population who voted for him and even those who didn’t because they agreed with his policies but did so to keep the far-right out, demonstrating their “attachment to republican ideals” and “humanism.” Macron also stated his desire to transform France into an “ecological nation,” boost the country’s” independence,” and construct a “stronger Europe.”
Macron’s victory has come as a huge comfort to France’s entertainment industry, which had been worried about the possibility of a Le Pen victory. More than 400 French artists, actors, producers, and directors, including Juliette Binoche and Charlotte Gainsbourg, wrote an op-ed in the aftermath of the first round urging people to vote for Macron. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine played a major role in turning the tables for Le Pen as her ties with Kremlin backfired in the current election. Now as the world stands with Ukraine, Le Pen’s popularity suffered a major downfall among the mass.
Le Pen gave a concession statement to her supporters gathered at a pavilion in the Bois de Boulogne in western Paris. “A huge wind of liberty could have blown over our country,” Le Pen remarked, “but the vote box decided otherwise.”
Despite this, Le Pen admitted that the far-right had never done so well in a presidential election. The result, she said, was “historic” and a “shining win” that put her political party, National Rally, “in a fantastic position” for the legislative elections in June.
“The game isn’t over yet,” she stated.