No matter who wins the French presidential election, the result is destined to shake up the country’s politics. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen each would make history, too.
CGTN’s Nathan King reports.
France election explainerNo matter who wins the French presidential election, the result is destined to shake up the country’s politics. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen each would make history, too.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen were the remaining candidates after the first round of voting on April 23.
Le Pen’s 21.3 percent of the vote would have been almost unthinkable just a decade ago. In 2007, Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was a candidate and received a little more than 10 percent of the vote. Five years later, support increased to nearly 18 percent.
In the first round, Marine Le Pen had strong support in areas that have lost industrial jobs.
The Socialist Party of Francois Hollande, who won the presidency five years ago, suffered a stunning collapse in the first round this year. Candidate Benoit Hamon barely won any districts.
The other dominant party in French politics, the conservative Republicans, also failed to reach the final round.
Macron is an independent who served as Hollande’s economy minister until he resigned last August. At 39, he would be France’s youngest president.
Marine Le Pen would be its first woman president. She campaigned to take France out of the European Union, and even called herself “Madame Frexit” in an interview.
Macron called immigration an “opportunity for every country.” Le Pen wanted to tighten rules for becoming a French citizen and restrict immigration to 10,000 people per year.