Our colleagues in Fipra France shared the result of the first round of the French Presidential elections with a quick and short analysis, written right after the announcement of the results and the first reactions from the French political leaders.

French election – Emmanuel Macron (24.01%) will face Marine Le Pen (21.30%) in the run-off to become the next President

In a nutshell: In the first round of the French presidential election, the centrist and pro-Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron (24.01%) came first, followed closely by the nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen (21.30%). This result is rather expected, but the vote is still very fragmented, with the centre-right candidate François Fillon (20.01%) and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon (19.58%) just behind. The Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon is lagging far behind with only 6.36% of the votes.

  • Turnout: The abstention has been lower than expected, with a turnout rate of 77.7%.
  • Forecast for second round: In the run-off to the election next May 7th, Emmanuel Macron is largely expected to become the next President of the French Republic due to the support brought by several other candidates (François Fillon, Benoit Hamon…) as well as several heavyweight of the main right wing party Les Republicains. On the contrary, Ms. Le Pen is said to have little reserve of votes beyond those who already voted for her in the first round. Mr. Macron is therefore expected to win with a comfortable margin, but the scope of this margin is however subject to questions.
  • Inflections points: Classic left and right-wing voters should gather behind Macron to prevent Le Pen’s victory, but the level of abstention could still have an impact on the final result, as well as the in-between-the-two-rounds campaign dynamic.Moreover, the real inflection point is likely to come from the legislative elections occurring in June, whose results will determine the political colour and stability of the executive power and therefore the margin of maneuver of the new President. The very fragmented vote seen in this first round of the Presidential election might then transform into a fragmented Parliament with no or weak majority and a need to make coalitions to govern.
  • Next steps:
    – May 7th: second round of the presidential election – Face-off between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.
    – June 11th-18th: Legislative elections to renew the main chamber of Parliament and decide whether the President will have a supporting majority/Government or will have to deal with opposition/make coalition to govern.