Exit polls gave victory to Macron: the hidden results of the presidential elections in France

The fight for the electorate will continue in May

The second round of the next presidential election is coming to an end in France. While the official results of the voting have not been summed up, exit polls (polls of voters at the exits from polling stations) predictably indicate a likely victory for Emmanuel Macron. According to an expert interviewed by MK, if the current head of state retains his post, he will have to continue a difficult struggle for voters – already in the parliamentary field. Its outcome will determine the details of the future Macron's course, which, however, is unlikely to undergo fundamental changes both within France and on the world stage.

In itself, the second round of presidential elections was not a surprise – in the history of the Fifth Republic there were no campaigns limited to one stage of voting. It is curious that this is only the second case when the former opponents again met in the final battle.

As in 2017, this year Macron was competed with the leader of the National Association (until 2018 known as the name “National Front”) Marine Le Pen. Despite optimistic preliminary opinion polls for her and a backlog of only 4.7% in the first round (it took place on April 10), analysts agreed that she would suffer the same fate.

The second round for the Le Pen family in general is of particular importance. The founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, successfully overcame the first stage of voting twenty years ago, speaking out against Jacques Chirac, around whom there were many corruption scandals. However, the protest vote in the second round, which was held according to the principle “better for a thief than for a nationalist” (even those candidates who had dropped out of the race who did not sympathize with him called to support Chirac), led to the fact that in 2002 the leader of the “NF” all same lost. It is not surprising that his daughters predicted a similar fate five years ago, and she really then repeated her father's experience. Judging by the April 24 exit polls, the situation is the same now.

If the final ballot counts (and the official election results will be released on April 25) give Macron the lead, this will also be a unique case: in 20 years after the mentioned campaign 2002, no French president has yet been re-elected.

In the event of a Macron victory, the head of state will obviously stick to his former course, Yury Rubinsky, head of the Center for French Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in a conversation with MK.

“In general, of course, Macron will continue to pursue the foreign and domestic policy that we observed in his first presidential term. At the same time, some new factors will come into play. First, what matters is what the final gap between Macron and Le Pen will be. In the last elections, it was almost two-time, now, obviously, the difference will be less. This is not surprising: Macron was in power and bore all the costs associated with this, while Le Pen criticized his decisions.

Secondly, in addition to the gap in percentages, an equally significant role is played by what is called the informal “third round” – the parliamentary elections in France scheduled for June 12 and 19 (the first and second rounds, respectively). “Although for the Fifth Republic the president is a central figure in political life, he is still forced to rely on the main forces in the parliament, which essentially has to form a government, when making decisions,” Yury Rubinsky emphasized in this regard. “For the past five years, Macron has had independent and absolute parliamentary majority of his party “Republic on the March” (another option – “Forward, Republic!”. – “MK”), not all of his predecessors can boast of this. Accordingly, the government actually had the composition that the president appointed. Now those prospects are in question. Most likely, those who were defeated in the first round of the presidential elections will actively participate in the parliamentary campaign.”

We are talking, in particular, about Invictus France, an ultra-left and populist party led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon .

“He lagged behind Marine Le Pen in the first round by only a couple of percent, having collected a solid package of votes,” the expert recalled. “Because a significant part of the protest electorate followed him, dissatisfied with both the incumbent president and the entire existing system, but who did not want to follow the far-right National Association.” Mélenchon bluntly stated that it was about deciding the fate of the country, and he himself claims to be prime minister. These ambitions are justified. It is his voters who will largely decide what kind of political landscape will emerge as a result of the parliamentary elections. And the “corridor” for making decisions by the president depends on this.

Macron himself is known for acting on the “at the same time” principle, that is, trying to combine difficult-to-combine solutions, and this problem will confront him in the coming month, Yury Rubinsky is sure:

“Having won in the second round, the president will try immediately after it – precisely in preparation for the parliamentary elections – to avoid steps that could split the voters. At the same time, he will obviously actively “look after” the left wing. According to Macron, he himself is both left and right, but we have seen that his policies so far have been more in the interests of the right-wing elite electorate. Now it is necessary to win the sympathy of the protest voters of Mélenchon on the left, to reduce the irritating factors. In particular, we are talking about Macron's planned increase in the retirement age to 65 years (now 62). Le Pen promised to lower the retirement threshold to 60 years – of course, this is an obvious populist gesture. Melenchon suggested looking for a middle option, which, apparently, Macron now has to find.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, time also plays a role in this case. France until June of this year is the country-chairman of the Council of the EU (the legislative body of the European Union, not to be confused with the European Council, which is the highest political body of the association. – “MK”). This status of a state does not give it the right to make its own unilateral decisions, but allows it to adjust the pan-European agenda.

“Macron’s goal in the EU is to broadly deepen interaction within the association and secure sovereign status for the European Union. In this direction, of course, he will be active, especially considering that he already has to deal with the new German government. It is a coalition, there is no unity there, including on such sensitive issues for Russia as the crisis in Ukraine. The tandem with Germany was repeatedly criticized by Le Pen, whose like-minded person in the alliance can be called the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Macron, on the other hand, will continue to bet on the consolidation and strengthening of the role of the EU in the world,” the expert concluded.

Источник www.mk.ru