France

'Lack of enthusiasm for Macron' as voters work to keep out Le Pen

Europe is delighted, but France is divided. 

Emanuel Macron has been re-elected as french president but a significant percentage of the vote wasn't for macron, as such, but instead to keep the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen out of government. 

International analyst Geoffrey Miller from the democracy project joined First Light's Rachel Smalley to discuss the French election.

Smalley asked Miller whether the Macron's re-election is necessarily a vote of confidence in him or his leadership.

"No, it is not Rachel," Miller said on Tuesday morning.

"On the surface, the result may seem like a thumping victory for Macron. I mean, after all, he won 58.5 percent of the vote, versus only 42 percent for Le Pen. 

"So it was a very clear victory. And he's the first French president to be re-elected in 20 years. But the margin really is deceptive. 

"Many of the French who voted for Macron in the second round did so only to keep out Le Pen and not out of any great enthusiasm for his program.

"You can see that in the turnout it was the lowest turnout in a French second-round election since 1969 at only 72 percent and in fact many who went and voted around 8 percent spoiled their ballots. 

"So collectively when you take that together, over a third of voters, or a third of the electorate, I should say, did not vote for either candidate, which just tells you about the lack of enthusiasm for Macron."

Listen to the full interview between Geoffrey Miller and Rachel Smalley above.

You can also download the full interview on the First Light Podcast and listen on the go. Check it out on the rova app or wherever you get your podcasts.