Predictably the Reuters report carried in the Daily News on May 8 hailed the election of Emmanuel Macron in France and, in particular, the margin of his victory. But it is a significance that is misleading.
While Macron’s 65% to Le Pen’s 34% is indeed a landslide win, the difference between the two votes is not as solid as it seems. Macron was the beneficiary of anti-Le Pen votes rather than votes specifically for him and his fledgling party. As such his vote comprised a loose coalition of moderates, liberals and socialists.
Consequently, Macron’s political platform is anything but secure as he faces the next round of elections on June 11 for the National Assembly.
Although support for Le Pen’s National Front was half of what Macron garnered, it is based on firm voter conviction that France’s best interests are not served by open borders, the EU or the Euro. Le Pen was also the beneficiary of a substantial number of younger voters whereas many of Macron’s voters were elderly. Returns show that 80% of voters over 65 voted for him.
As the cycle of history turns inexorably towards French nationalism and national sovereignty, Macron’s charm is offensive and prospects likely to be short-lived.
Sent into The Daily News and published, 11 May 2017.