Pas Si Vite




From top: French president-elect Emmanuel Macron; Shane Heneghan

In a conciliatory speech yesterday evening, Emmanuel Macron greeted his unexpectedly strong victory of 66% to Marine Le Pen’s 34% in a slightly more sombre mood than some might have expected.

There are several reasons for this. Perhaps he has the current incumbent, Francois Hollande in mind – a man who came to power five short years ago on a message of hope and change who shall leave the Elyse Palace next weekend with negligible approval ratings and without having made any serious dent on an unemployment rate of 10%.

That 34% of voters choose a Fascist, with a capital F, over him will also be in the back of his head and despite the Front National’s loss, obtaining over a third of votes cast remains a remarkable achievement for a party that begin life as a ragbag of Vichy apologists and holocaust deniers.

Yet more sobering for the President elect is the number of people who did not bother to vote at all. At 74%, turnout was at a near record low (though by contrast, it’s worth noting that only one Irish election has reached this level in the past 35 years).

Many of those voters who sat this one out may be eager to take part in next month’s Parliamentary election and frustrate the new President’s efforts to put together a coherent majority thus hamstringing his ability to deliver on his promises.

But perhaps, one notable detail of the result is likely to stick in his mind. Unlike Brexit and Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen has remarkably strong support among younger voters. T

his will perhaps be firmly in his mind when dealing with a youth unemployment rate of nearly 24%- if he finds time to do this between restructuring the euro and reforming the French public service.

Don’t get me wrong. The rise of this guy has been meteoric. He was unknown five years ago. His party didn’t exist 14 months ago and on Sunday, he will take charge of the world’s fifth largest economy and get the codes for Europe’s largest nuclear arsenal.

But his demeanour at the very least seems to show us a man who also sees the writing on the wall. Macron has five years to succeed where Hollande failed or he will hand Le Pen the Presidency in 2022.

Shane Heneghan is a Brussels-based election and poll watcher. Follow Shane on Twitter: @shaneheneghan

Pic: Getty

24 thoughts on “Pas Si Vite

  1. Monsieur Henri Woods

    Who cares? It’s France fer feck sake.
    Marion Maréchal-Le Pen would have won.
    Well she won my heart and that will get my vote.
    Zut Alors!

    1. De Kloot

      At least she’s easier on the eye than her wizened, 80-a-day habit Auntie…. That said, she has it in her to bring back concentration camps….

  2. Eric Cartman

    “Fascist with a capitol F” I stopped reading this tripe there. France will regret this decision, atleast over 1/3 of france could see the problem migrants are causing, next time around it will be a majority.

    1. know man is an island

      It’s a very poor article alright. It seems Broadsheet is determined to degenerate into some fear monger if clikcbait nonsense

    2. _d_a_n_

      Immigration wasn’t the only issue. There is also a huge divide between rural and urban areas in France, globalisation was arguably a greater issue, immigration can’t be wholly blamed for a lack of adequate employment in rural France. This issue drove nativism and a want to hark back to more bucolic and economically stable days (at least in the nativist’s mind), which in turn accentuated the opposition to immigration. To say 1/3 of France could see the problems is massively reductionist. I think you just want to be angry.

    3. Bob

      You can have a problem with immigration while also not voting in a holocaust denier who actually had no economic plans and openly admitted to receiving funds from Russia.

  3. f_lawless

    pretty weak analysis in my view…dismissing all that Le Pen represents as “fascism with a capital F” reads like something lifted from a typical corporate media talking point.
    Here’s some more in depth analysis of Macron and what he represents by Diana Johnstone, an American political writer living in France for several decades, who has been publicly lauded in the past by the likes of Noam Chomsky and John Pilger. (article from March 31st)

    1. Turgenev

      Odd article. But one thing sounds like Fine Gael:

      “Instead (of democracy), the favored model is “governance”, a word taken from the business world, which refers to successful management of large corporations, united in a single purpose and aiming at maximum efficiency. This origin is evident in aspects of political governance: an obligatory unanimity concerning “values”, enforced by corporate media; the use of specialized committees to provide suggestions concerning delicate issues, a role played by “civil society”; the use of psychology and communications to shape public opinion; isolation of trouble-makers; and co-optation of leadership.”

    2. _d_a_n_

      I’m sick of these articles,

      “Of course, these days, the active thought police are quick to condemn talk of “governance” as a form of conspiracy theory. ”

      “George Soros”

      “These days, ideologues keep the masses amused with arguments about themselves, which identity group they belong to, which gender they might be, who is being unfair to whom, who it is they must “hate” for the crime of “hating”.

      Meanwhile, the elite meet among themselves and decide what is best.”

      “The Mind Management Media lavish admiring attention on Macron”

      You would think Trump, Brexit the enduring power of Putin, Orban or the fact Le Pen got 35% of the vote
      never happened.

      It’s such nonsense. There was a free and fair election. You cannot move for these sort of articles and ideas these days. People’s minds are not being controlled by the media, they are making decisions based on the candidates put forward. Governance is not a term borrowed from the corporate world. It’s Latin root means to direct, rule, guide. It’s easier to deal with paranoid grand conspiracies then it is to get into the detail of economics, sociology and political science I suppose. What are Macron’s positions informed by? Why, for instance, was he supportive of Varoufakis and Syrzia during the Greek debt negotiations? What about his time as Hollande’s finance minister? What does it mean when he says he’s neither let or right? This article delves into Macron’s hostory, way back, to his school days, if we were to do the same with Le Pen what would we find? Would the term fascist then be so ill suited?

      There are biases on both sides. This poo is lazy.

      But I suppose I’m being naive or something, I don’t know, I’m just annoyed.

    1. bertie "The Inexplicable Pleasure" blenkinsop

      Don’t tell me it’s actually begins with a “Ph”…

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