Tuesday, 9 May 2017

In the first round of the French election 49.4% of voters backed an anti-EU candidate

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In the first round of the French presidential election 49.4 per cent of voters backed an anti-EU candidate. Did you read this anywhere?

Simon Heffer pointed it out but it's a remarkable fact that seems to be almost entirely ignored.

The polls predicted that Mr. Macron would take 62% of the vote. He instead took 66% and Marine Le Pen 34%. 

Nate Silver noted on Twitter that this was “A bigger error than Brexit and much bigger than Trump.” There need not have been an error of course. The difference could be explained by a swing to Mr Macron on Saturday, the day before polling, when opinion polls were forbidden by law.

The turnout was 75%, which is low by French standards. In 2012 it was 79.5%.

By way of comparison, turnout in the British general election in 2015 was 66% and in the EU referendum 72%. The turnout in the referendum was the second highest turnout in a national election in Great Britain in the modern era. In last year's US presidential election turnout was 60%.


12% of ballots were spoilt on Sunday, a record in a French presidential election. People who dislike Marine Le Pen see these spoilt ballots as an indictment of her and people who dislike Mr. Macron say they represent a verdict on him. In fact ballots that were spoiled deliberately represent a policy of 'A plague on both their houses'.


I imagine Donald Trump won a lot of votes for Mr. Macron but doubt that she would have won had Hillary won.

Mr. Macron owes his victory to the carefully orchestrated media smear campaigns against Messrs. Sarkozy and Fillon, in which the secret services may have played a role, and a revulsion from Marine Le Pen. He comes to office with little political experience and without any clear programme.

If Mr. Macron sticks to his promise to seek to punish Poland and Hungary for not sharing his values while remaining in the EU and to punish the UK for leaving he may do more to weaken the hold the EU has on its citizens or subjects than Marine Le Pen would have done.



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