France divided in twoComments
The results from the first round of the French election has revealed a country divided in two.
France is split along both geographical and social lines in its support for Emmanuel Macronand Marine Le Pen.
On the one hand, an urban, pro-European electorate backing Macron, and on the other an anti-EU, working class supporting Le Pen.
Geographically, the division cuts from north-west to south-east.
Macron has seduced mostly big cities, Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, and the west of the country.
It is in the countryside, the north east and south east where Le Pen has her highest support.
Macron’s voters are mainly white-collar workers, in contrast to Le Pen who has the support of blue-collar workers.
If we look at the last election, 47% of those who voted for Socialist President Hollande turned to Macron on Sunday.
While, 6% of Hollande’s voters backed Le Pen, who retained 84% of her voters from 2012.
The uniting of the political spectrum to keep the far-right out of power has become known as the Republican Front.
It was a tactic used when Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie shocked France by reaching the second round of the 2002 elections.
Far left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon was part of the movement, but this time the deal is different.
Political analyst Frederic Dabi said: “It’s true that the behavior of Jean Luc Mélenchon and Francois Fillon’s voters is one of the keys to the poll.
“Among those backing Jean Luc Mélenchon, there is an initial mood of abstaining.
“Almost one out of two would not want to vote in this second round, but that can change during the campaign “
While Mr Fillon and Socialist Benoît Hamon both urged their supporters to vote for Mr Macron, Mélenchon has stayed silent, awaiting feedback from his voters.
A large part of the French don’t want Le Pen, and her xenophobic policy, to reach power, but many are also reluctant to vote for Macron and back his pro-Europe, pro-business policies.
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