Election result: French Presidency, first round

With the addition of ballots from French citizens overseas, the final results have now been released nearly a day after the nation finished voting in the most unusual first round Presidential contest seen in the 58 year life of the Fifth Republic.

The result – the qualification of centrist Emmanuel Macron and right-wing populist Marine Le Pen for the second round – was exactly as foretold by the opinion polls. It leaves France in the unprecedented situation of a run-off contest featuring neither of the two traditional governing forces, the centre-right Republicans and the centre-left Socialist Party. Casting aside aspersions that Macron may be a continuity ‘Hollandiste’ candidate, the winner will be the first President of the Cinquième to come from outside the two traditional political families. He or she will face a very difficult task to govern, notably with the requirement to construct from scratch a legislative majority in June’s National Assembly elections.

 

 

The order of the remaining candidates and their scores, shown in the chart above, were also exactly in line with the final polling. Francois Fillon narrowly pipped Jean-Luc Mélenchon to third place, and was not far behind Le Pen. Indeed only 700,000 votes of over 47 million eligible separated these three in the end.

Benoit Hamon crashed to an historically low score for the incumbent Socialist Party after failing to gain the endorsement of his own President, Prime Minister and many leading party colleagues.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan narrowly failed to hurdle the 5 per cent barrier needed to recover his campaign expenses, and anti-capitalist factory worker Philippe Poutou in the end failed to transform his star turn at the candidates’ TV debate into meaningful votes. Apart from Macron, all of the main four contenders may consider that this supremely tight race might have had a different outcome had the six ‘minor’ candidates not syphoned away precious votes.

At 77.77 per cent, turnout was slightly down on the corresponding figure for 2012, which was 79.48 per cent. Notably some 2.5 per cent of voters effectively cast a protest against the entire field with their ‘blank’ ballots, after a campaign which many French citizens viewed as being of poor quality.

 

FINAL OFFICIAL RESULTS

1. Emmanuel Macron (En Marche!) 8,657,326 or 24.01%
2. Marine Le Pen (Front National, FN) 7,679,493 or 21.30%
3. Francois Fillon (Les Républicains, LR) 7,213,797 or 20.01%
4. Jean-Luc Mélenchon (France Insoumise) 7,060,885 or 19.58%
5. Benoit Hamon (Parti Socialiste, PS) 2,291,565 or 6.36%
6. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (Debout La France) 1,695,186 or 4.70%
7. Jean Lassalle 435,365 or 1.21%
8. Philippe Poutou (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) 394,582 or 1.09%
9. Francois Asselineau (Union Populaire Républicaine) 332,588 or 0.92%
10. Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) 232,428 or 0.64%
11. Jacques Cheminade 65,598 or 0.18%

 

‘Blancs’ 659,302 or 1.78%
Nuls 285,431 or 0.77%

Eligible voters 47,581,118
Abstentions 10,577,572
Voted 37,003,546
Turnout 77.77%

Source: Ministry of the Interior, France

 

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