Macron Wins Presidential Election in France

Lucas Pauluk, Contributor

French President Emmanuel Macron won the runoff election on Sunday, confirming his re-election to the French presidency against Marine Le Pen.

Macron, the current president of France, was declared the victor of the French presidential elections after the second round of elections on April 24. He won 58.54% of the national vote, cementing his re-election as president of France for the 2022-2027 term.

Macron is a member and the founder of La République En Marche, a central-liberal party in France. Macron himself is known for more centrist views, even when he was a member of the French Socialist Party. Central Connecticut State University professor Trevor Allen said that this stance may have helped him win the election.

“Macron, because he wasn’t affiliated with the traditional party apparatus, didn’t have a huge amount of baggage,” Allen said. “Macron is much more pro-Europe, pro-NATO. Really important in the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine.”

His main opponent, Marine Le Pen, is a member of Rassemblement National, a growing far-right movement in the European country. Le Pen has been coming under heavy criticism in the weeks leading up to the election, mainly regarding her previous praise of Vladimir Putin before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Le Pen has also been criticized for her proposed ban on Muslims wearing hijabs in public, a move which has received criticism from across Europe.

“I do think people should be concerned, or nor concerned even, just generally pay attention to events unfolding in Europe,” Allen said. “I think a lot of the sort of social anxieties and unrest that might produce something like Trump were evident in Europe decades before they were evident here.”

Macron has also received criticism for his stances on immigration and foreign policy, though his voters appreciated his pro-Europe and pro-NATO views. He did not receive an outright majority of votes in the first round of elections on April 10, which led to the second round on April 24 against Le Pen.

Macron also received fewer votes than he did against Le Pen during France’s last presidential election in 2017. He won that year with 66.1% of the vote, which is almost 10% more than what he won this year.

“I think he won as a sort of lesser of two evils candidate rather than because he was widely perceived as being a super effective president,” Allen said.

The legislative elections for France will be held this June, and Le Pen’s voters seem poised to take seats in the Senate to make up for the loss of the presidency.