Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are set to face each other in a May 7 runoff for the French presidency after coming first and second in Sunday’s first round of voting according to the first results.
In a race that was too close to call up to the last minute, Mr Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and economy minister who founded his own party only a year ago, was projected to get 24 percent by the pollster Harris and 23.7 percent by Elabe and Ipsos.
However, the French are not to blame! We saw Marine Le Pen coming or even winning this first round of elections. French people thought the right had failed because there was still high unemployment and more insecurity and social misery in France. Therefore, five years ago when they had a chance to vote for the left, they did. But President François Hollande has turned out to be exactly like former President Nicolas Sarkozy, and nothing has changed for them.
The problem of high unemployement in France has been closely followed by security and the fight against terrorism in the polls and these three are the driving factors for the French vote.
A majority of French people share the Front’s view that their country has too many immigrants and should refrain from admitting more. As a result, the French government allowed in only a modest number of refugees from Syria — in notable contrast with Germany. Discussion of the subject has become a political taboo; it has not featured at all during the campaign. Moreover, the party has also helped promote an aggressive form of secularism, one that often stigmatizes Muslims and seeks to regulate their social and cultural freedoms.
Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is co-founded the National Front—a party historically composed of immigrant-loathing white nationalists. Jean-Marie is a Holocaust truther who once dismissed Nazi gas chambers as a mere “point of detail of the history of the Second World War,” and said of a Jewish critic: “We’ll put a batch in the oven next time.” Marine, meanwhile, recently downplayed France’s role in the Holocaust, saying, “I don’t think France is responsible for the Vel d’Hiv.” She also claimed that the Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime “was not France,” adding, “I think that generally speaking if there are people responsible, it’s those who were in power at the time. It’s not France.”
— France 3 (@France3tv) 23 avril 2017
— France 2 (@France2tv) 23 avril 2017
— mathieu gallard (@mathieugallard) 23 avril 2017
— NousPrésident (@Nous_President1) 23 avril 2017