France’s mainstream breathes sigh of relief

DW – May 7, 2017

Centrist Emmanuel Macron was confirmed president-elect in line with opinion poll forecasts. But some voters in France were shaken by the unprecedented support shown for the far right, reports Erin Conroy in Paris.

Voters in Paris showed little surprise that former banker and technocrat Emmanuel Macron won France’s presidential election in a run-off vote Sunday against the far-right populist candidate, Marine Le Pen.

Still, many found it disconcerting that the Front National’s Le Pen was able to win about 35 percent of the vote – unprecedented support for the party, which has been making steady gains in local and national elections – even as the country’s mainstream parties on the right and left backed the independent centrist Macron. Le Pen’s share of the vote was nearly double that won by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in the 2002 election, the only other time that their party made it to the second round.