Macron seizes victory in French run-off


Despite election hype, Le Pen loses in landslide to centrist Macron.

Evan Rocha, Staff Writer

The projected winner of the French Presidential runoff, Emmanuel Macron, has been stated to have won the second-round vote against FN leader Marine Le Pen. Macron is predicted to have won with a massive 65.8% of the vote, leaving Le Pen in the dust.

Macron mentioned a call for national unity in his speech, stating that he would spend his time “fighting the forces of division that undermine France.” In her speech, Le Pen congratulated Macron on his victory, but also stated that the election showed a stark division between the “patriots and globalists” in France. Le Pen’s campaign team had booked a rather small venue for the result-watching party, implying that they knew a loss was likely.

Macron, a self-professed “radical centrist,” is a newcomer to French politics. Just a year ago, his party En Marche! had been nonexistent, and his only previous political experience had been as Minister of the Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs under former Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Formerly an investment banker, he is a pro-business and very pro-EU and pro-immigration candidate, more or less the polar opposite of Le Pen. Much of his campaign was based on distinguishing and separating himself from Le Pen’s anti-Europe platform, and some predict that he won by virtue of being against what Le Pen supported.

Electoral maps show an even heavier victory for Macron, with nearly every department in the country voting for him. Only two districts voted for Le Pen:  Pas-de-Calais and Aisne, both in the northeast of the country. Calais is notable for being the site of the former Calais Jungle, a massive migrant camp that was demolished last October. In the next election, even if Le Pen doesn’t run, support for her views will most likely continue to grow in this region.

Macron greatly fits the title of a centrist, not being too much of a radical in any direction. He isn’t the most interesting or driven candidate, and he hasn’t made a hard choice in any direction for most issues facing the country. This does seem to work for him, however, as voters appreciated his neutrality on many issues. He’s criticized President Trump’s planned wall, and he’s a strong proponent of Angela Merkel’s “open door” attitude towards immigration, but he also describes himself as a capitalist and a free-market advocate, which while contrary to his Socialist Party predecessor Francois Hollande, isn’t unusual in French politics as a whole. Overall, he isn’t going to be shaking up anything in French politics, but perhaps that isn’t what the French people need or want.