The first round of the French Presidential elections delivered its verdict (Listen here); 28% for President Macron and 23.3% for Marine Le Pen. They both qualify for the second round on April 24. The world was already watching for that first round and will be even more focused on that second round.
Among the other candidates, Jean Luc Melenchon managed to muster 21.7% of the votes and will miss that second round by a sliver.
Political observers are already projecting themselves for the second round on April 24 and needless to say that the tension will be very high and uncertain in the days to come. French TV channels in collaboration with leading polling institutes are already projecting that the result on April will be a very tight 51% for Macron and 49% for Le Pen. Most candidates have already called for their voters to cast their voices in favor of Macron in order to block the far right candidate. Melenchon asked his followers that not a single voice should go Le Pen, and he repeated it three times in a row during his speech this evening.
Eric Zemmour on the other hand is calling his 7% voters to follow Marine Le Pen.
So here we are this evening with a highly transformed political landscape. On the one hand, Emmanuel Macron is leading a political block represented by La République En Marche that represents 28% of the votes. You could say that it represents the Center left / Center Right. The Far Right with Marine Le Pen, Eric Zemmour and Nicholas Dupont-Aignan represents 32.3%.
Meanwhile traditional parties are collapsing. First, the Socialist Party which governed for 19 years through 2 Presidents of the Républic in the last 40 years. Today it barely reached 1.7%. Les Républicains, who also had 2 Presidents for 17 years during the last 40 years; they barely reached 4.8% today. Both parties, the Socialists and Les Républicains, together, barely mustered 6.5% of the votes.
This is indeed the state of the political landscape tonight in France. Three blocks from the left to the right, centered around President Macron.
These are the first takeaways from today’s first round. It will be a very tense and uncertain two weeks ahead of us.
Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.