2022 French presidential election: Macron barely wins first round
Post created on 3:17 pm
Incumbent president Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen have both advanced to the final round of the French presidential elections after the first round of voting on Sunday. They will face off again on April 24.
President Emmanuel Macron of La République en Marche (LREM, Republic on the Move) won the first round of the French presidential election with 27.6% of the vote, an increase from his first-round score of 24.01% five years ago.
He will once again face Marine Le Pen, leader of le Rassemblement National (RN, National Rally), in the second round of voting after she came in second place with 23.4%, also improving her first-round tally of 21.3% from 2017.
Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came in third place with 22% of the vote. Voter turnout for the first round was remarkably low, with 26% abstaining.
The prospect of a Le Pen win in France serves as a reminder that the battle between liberal democrats and right-wing populists remains far from settled. “A Le Pen victory in the second round would mark the first far-right presidency in French history,” wrote the Washington Post’s Rick Noack. “It would also upend politics in Europe – replacing the most fervent advocate of European Union cooperation with someone known for anti-E.U. rhetoric.”
“An anti-NATO and more pro-Russia France in the event of a Le Pen victory would cause deep concern in allied capitals, and could fracture the united trans-Atlantic response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” wrote the New York Times’ Roger Cohen.