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Monday, May 8, 2017

French Elections - Macron beats Le Pen

Are polls won by Campaign managers ? and strategies ??  When this candidate  rolled out his presidential campaign nearly six months ago, he came to a little-known vocational school in Bobigny, a working-class suburb of Paris. The backdrop was chosen to burnish his image as the candidate who would revive France, especially for young people.  His idea was to target and train at-risk youths as the terrorist attacks of 2015 highlighted the dangers of leaving behind those who live in France’s bleak suburbs, called banlieues, which are often heavily populated by immigrants. “The France of the suburbs needs mobility,” he said at the time. In those areas, he said, “fewer young people have access to school, fewer have access to culture and fewer have access to employment.” He added, “Suburban France and rural France have the right to succeed, to develop themselves and we have to permit them to more forward, we have to invest in them.”

Low turnout and a high number of blank ballots (a form of protest vote) had been expected to benefit Ms. Le Pen, whose voter base appeared in polls as more committed than Mr. Macron’s. But that did not appear to be the case. About a quarter of the electorate abstained, with many in France forced to choose between two candidates they did not like in the final round of voting. Approximately 10 percent of those who did turn out cast an empty or discounted ballot.

The independent centrist Emmanuel Macron has defeated Marine Le Pen and will become the next president of France, according to preliminary results on Sunday, ending a bitter campaign to determine the country’s future participation in a united Europe.  With almost all of the ballots counted, Mr. Macron had about 65 percent of the vote and a decisive lead over Ms. Le Pen, who was at about 35 percent.  Reports suggest that in  his resounding victory on Sunday night, Emmanuel Macron, the centrist who has never held elected office, won because he was the beneficiary of a uniquely French historic and cultural legacy, where many voters wanted change but were appalled at the type of populist anger that had upturned politics in Britain and the United States. He trounced the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, keeping her well under 40 percent, even as her aides said before the vote that anything below that figure would be considered a failure. But in the end, Mr. Macron, only 39, a former investment banker and an uninspired campaigner, won because of luck, an unexpected demonstration of political skill, and the ingrained fears and contempt that a majority of French still feel toward Ms. Le Pen and her party, the National Front.

Marion Anne Perrine "Marine" Le Pen is a French politician and lawyer. A former president of the French National Front, a far-right political party in France, she is the youngest daughter of party founder Jean-Marie and the aunt of FN MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen. Le Pen joined the FN in 1986 and was elected as a regional councillor (1998–present), a Member of European Parliament (2004–present), and a municipal councillor in Hénin-Beaumont (2008–2011). She won the leadership of the FN in 2011 with 67.65% (11,546 votes) of the vote, defeating Bruno Gollnisch and succeeding her father, who had been president of the party since he founded it in 1972. Le Pen was ranked among the most influential people in 2011 and 2015 by the Time 100. In 2016, she was ranked by Politico as the second-most influential MEP in the European Parliament, just behind its President Martin Schulz.  ~  and all that shows that popularity does not naturally translate to votes.

The World is talking about the results in French elections.. .. .. the  2017 French presidential election was held on 23 April and 7 May 2017. As no candidate won a majority in the first round on 23 April, a runoff was held between the top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron of En Marche,  and Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN), which Macron won by a decisive margin on 7 May. The presidential election will be followed by a legislative election to elect members of the National Assembly on 11 and 18 June.

Incumbent president François Hollande of the Socialist Party (PS) was eligible to run for a second term, but declared on 1 December 2016 that he would not seek reelection in light of low approval ratings, making him the first incumbent president of the Fifth Republic not to seek re-election. François Fillon of the Republicans (LR), after winning the party's first open primary, and Marine Le Pen of the National Front led first-round opinion polls in November 2016 and mid-January 2017. Polls tightened considerably by late January, and after the publication of revelations that Fillon possibly employed family members in fictitious jobs in what came to be colloquially known as "Penelopegate", Macron overtook Fillon to place consistently second in first-round polling.

The first round was held under a state of emergency that was declared following the November 2015 Paris attacks. Following the result of the first round, Macron and Le Pen continued to the 7 May runoff.  Estimations of the result of the second round on 7 May indicated that Macron had been elected by a decisive margin, and Le Pen immediately conceded defeat. Though the Interior Ministry has published preliminary results, the official result of the second round will be proclaimed by the Constitutional Council on 10 May.

Independent centrist Mr Macron topped 66 per cent of the vote with the interior ministry having counted 99 per cent of the country's 47 million registered votes counted. He has become the youngest president of the Fifth Republic at the age of 39. Ms Le Pen called her opponent to wish him success in dealing with the "challenges" facing the country, following the early results. She claimed the vote was a “historic, massive result” for the French far-right, telling supporters that the FN "must renew itself to live up to this historic opportunity and the expectation of French people." Louvre grounds, where French presidential candidate and favourite Emmanuel Macron was planning to celebrate his possible victory later in the evening, was evacuated for security checks after a suspicious bag was found.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th May 2017.

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