The French Election Results, and Why You Should Care


Alexander Yagoda, Staff Writer

On the weekend of May 6, France elected Emmanuel Macron as their new president. This comes amid some of the lowest approval ratings ever for the current president, François Hollande, which have recently been hovering around four percent. Many cite the dismal approval ratings as his reason for not running in this election. However, many candidates competed in a large general election two weekends prior, but only Macron and his main competitor, Marine Le Pen, made it to the final runoffs.

Macron ran as the president of a party he founded, called “La République En Marche” (The Republic Onward). The party generally took a centrist stance on most things, such as immigration and economic policies, as that was the political ideology of Macron. In addition, Macron will be the youngest president ever elected in France at 39 years of age. To add to that, his party favored remaining in the European Union (EU) and stood staunchly against immigration restrictions.

His opponent, Marine Le Pen, seemed like a polar opposite to the generally liberal, centrist candidate. This stood to reason, as her views are that of the head of France’s far-right political party. In addition, her proposed policy changes to stop the flow of immigrants into France has been considered xenophobic. Le Pen and the rest of her party, the National Front (founded in 1972 by Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie), have been leaning favorably towards leaving the EU, in a manner similar to Brexit.

“I think Le Pen should have won because she would’ve dealt better with the immigrants that are flooding France,” sophomore Arturo Diaz-Dube said.

France will continue to accept more immigrants than it can support and will remain in the EU, where the strong economies of Germany and France hold up some of the weaker ones, such as Greece and Spain. In addition, Macron said in a recent video that Americans would be more welcome to France than in other years, possibly marking the beginning of a golden era between the two great nations.