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Incumbent Emmanuel Macron Narrowly Wins Against Marine Le Pen: What France’s Election Really Means

A protester holds up a sign saying, “Macron we are not your p….” Image Courtesy of Jordan Bracco.

On April 24th, Emmanuel Macron was re-elected as president of France. His re-election was a historical election for the country, in more ways than one. Macron is the first French president to get re-elected in 20 years.

The election went for two rounds, turning into a run-off on April 10th. The incumbent faced stiff competition from newcomer Marine Le Pen, who earned 41.5% of the vote.

Le Pen is a far-right candidate. She’s infamous for her appeasement of Vladamir Putin as well as her unfriendliness toward the European Union. Le Pen’s platform included the annulment of laws that allow immigrants to undergo a process in which they become legal citizens. Though she lost to Macron, Le Pen contributed to the best showing her party has ever had.

With her somewhat extremist ideals, the election results indicate a possible new voting trend.

Some French voters weren’t satisfied with either of the candidates. Data suggest that the voter abstention rate was 28%, according to the French Interior Ministry, making it the highest rate in 50 years.

Maps indicate that Le Pen was popular in the northeast and southeast regions of France, but fell flat when it came to metropolitan areas.

In her concession speech, Le Pen admitted defeat but vowed to “never abandon the French.”

In Emmanuel Macron’s acceptance speech, he acknowledged that some of his support came from the opposition of Le Pen. He spoke to those who voted for Le Pen, promising to try and understand what caused their decision at the polls.

Macron also took the opportunity to convince his people that his second term would include changes, promising it would address the problems France is currently facing.

Though Le Pen lost, part of her concession speech focused on the meaning the poll numbers presented. According to Reuters, Le Pen stated, “The game is not quite over.”

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