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Macron on course to become French president

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Centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron had a commanding lead over far-right leader Marine Le Pen, according to projections released after balloting ended across France. The results, if confirmed, put Macron on course to be France’s next president. 

This article will be updated shortly.

After months of improbable twists in its campaign to pick a president, France hurtled toward a choice Sunday between a far-right firebrand who wants to deconstruct modern Europe and a centrist political neophyte who has promised to revive it.

Under clouds and a cool spring rain across much of the country, voters from the chic neighborhoods of Paris to the struggling postindustrial towns of the French countryside made their way to polling stations.

Pre-election surveys showed centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron enjoying a wide lead over populist challenger Marine Le Pen. But after a campaign studded with surprises, France was braced at least for the possibility of one more.

France’s Macron votes in crucial presidential poll

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After a tumultuous presidential election campaign filled with scandal and surprises, favorite Emmanuel Macron cast his vote on Sunday, May 7. (Reuters)

“I’m anxious,” said 47-year-old Sylvie Dartigues, a professional coach who cast her ballot amid the vaulted ceilings of Paris’s 17th-century Place des Vosges, a former royal residence that was also home to Victor Hugo. “I absolutely don’t want Marine Le Pen to be president. She represents everything that’s against my values: racism, intolerance and no real plan for the country.”

Ninety miles away, in the small northern city of Laon, 66-year-old Lionel Abenton said he had voted for Le Pen because she wants to crack down on immigration and shows “loyalty to the French people.”

She also stands up to globalization, which, waving his hand down main street as he enumerated the stores that have closed, Abenton blamed for the decline of the city that has been his home all his life. “It’s Europe that decides,” he said ruefully.

Across France, voting was sluggish compared with previous elections. About 65 percent of the country had cast ballots by 5 p.m., down from the  presidential contests in 2007 and 2012, when turnout at that hour was above 70 percent.

Polls in most places close at 8 p.m. local time, or 2 p.m. Eastern time.  Exit polls, which have been accurate in past elections, are expected soon after balloting ends.

The election in a country beleaguered by chronically high unemployment and recurrent terrorist attacks will end in a historic decision no matter whom the majority among the tens of millions of French voters select.

The dominant two parties of France’s Fifth Republic have been eliminated. The two candidates who remain, Le Pen and Macron, have traced an outsider’s path as they have sought residence at the Elysee Palace.

Le Pen, 48, is the second-generation leader of a party long relegated to the French political fringe but now maneuvering to the heart of the country’s unhappy political discourse with its attacks on immigration and the European Union.

Macron, 39, is a former investment banker and economy minister who bucked his ex-boss, President François Hollande, and launched a pro-European, pro-globalization movement that aims for the radical center by borrowing freely from both left and right.

His campaign has had to overcome all the usual challenges of a start-up, plus some extraordinary ones — including the publication online Friday night of thousands of hacked campaign documents in a cyberattack that aroused suspicions of Russian meddling.

The outcome of Sunday’s vote will have profound implications not only for France’s 67 million citizens, but also for the future of Europe and for the political trajectory across the Western world.

After a pair of stunning triumphs in 2016 — Brexit in the United Kingdom, Donald Trump in the United States — France’s vote is a test of whether the political mainstream can beat back a rising tide from the populist right.

Many of Europe’s mainstream leaders — both center-right and center-left — lined up to cheer on Macron after he punched his ticket to the second round in a vote last month. The endorsements were a break from protocol for presidents and prime ministers who normally stay out of one another’s domestic elections.

But they reflected the gravity of the choice that France faces, with impacts that could ripple across the continent and around the world.

Europe’s powers-that-be are desperately hoping that France ignores Le Pen’s siren call to take her country out of both the euro zone and the European Union. Her victory would be considered a possible death blow to decades of efforts to draw Europe more closely together.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama has endorsed Macron.

The current White House occupant, Trump, has been uncharacteristically cagey about his choice, saying before the first round that Le Pen was “the strongest on borders and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.” He predicted that she would do well but stopped short of endorsing her.

Le Pen celebrated Trump’s victory in November, with her top aide tweeting: “Their world is crumbling. Ours is being built.” A Le Pen victory was seen by many in far-right movements across the West as the next big blow to the political establishment.

On the campaign trail this spring, Le Pen’s rhetoric has often echoed Trump’s, with vows to put “France first” and to defend “the forgotten France.” She also condemns globalist cosmopolitans — Macron chief among them — who she says do not have the nation’s interests at heart.

But she has also distanced herself from Trump since his inauguration, often declining to mention him by name.

Macron shares almost nothing with Trump except one key fact: If Macron wins, he, too, will have become president of his country on his first run for elective office.

The son of doctors who was raised in the northern city of Amiens, Macron had to teach himself the basics of campaigning on the fly in the white-hot glare of a presidential race. He also had to distance himself from Hollande, the historically unpopular Socialist incumbent who gave Macron his major break in politics by making him economy minister.

Macron has benefited from stumbles by key competitors, namely opponents from the center-right who had been expected to win this year’s vote after five years of Socialist rule.

As leader of a movement he built from scratch — En Marche, or Onward — Macron has run on pledges to reform both France and Europe. But even with a wide margin of victory — which the polls forecast — he could struggle to enact his agenda without sufficient backing in the National Assembly. Parliamentary elections are due next month.

Despite his lead in the polls, surveys also show that most of Macron’s supporters see themselves voting against Le Pen rather than for him.

That was reflected on the streets Sunday, with voters even in well-to-do and heavily pro-Macron neighborhoods of Paris saying they felt more resigned than excited.

“It’s a sad day. Usually the election ends for me on a sunny terrace, having brunch with friends that lasts all day,” said Monicka Launay, a retired 73-year-old industrial designer. “Not this year.”

Launay said her first-round favorite, far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, had campaigned with a “lyricism” that she found lacking in the two candidates who remain.

“It’s important to dream,” she said. “Many foreigners may not understand, but in France we need poetry in our politics.”

In Laon, many voters said they were so disillusioned by the choice that they would cast blank ballots.

Others said their disenchantment had led them to Le Pen — and a hope that, despite the polls, she can still eke out a victory that will bring the radical break for France that they crave.

“We’ve had 50 years of rule from the left and the right,” said Francis Morel, a 54-year-old breadmaker who cast his ballot for Le Pen. “Nothing has changed.”

Wa Po

25 Comments on "Macron on course to become French president"

  1. bobinget on Sun, 7th May 2017 1:45 pm 

    Macon wins by 65.5 % . Europe, safe, at least for now.

  2. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 1:55 pm 

    America has shown that nationalist tickets can win in a globalized world, even in Globalist Central USA. But America is further “down the road” demographically than even France and hence the sense of urgency is greater.

    A few years of mass migration more and the same will happen in France and Germany.

  3. Hello on Sun, 7th May 2017 2:16 pm 

    Funny how europeans vote for their own demise.

    It’s a consolation to know that they at least get what the deserve for stupidity. I hope the few remaining european kids enjoy the future their parents will leave them.

  4. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 2:20 pm 

    Britain wants America to be “on top” and left the EU.

    Continental Europe, left or right, never really accepted being a US colony. It was just biding its time.

    Brexit is a watershed moment because the US is losing its stadholder in Europe, during a brief moment where the current president doesn’t care about a stadholder in Europe.

  5. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 2:36 pm 

    “US losing world leadership, Europe can replace it’ – EU top diplomat Mogherini”

    Don’t say you weren’t warned, folks.

    You haven’t the faintest idea what an unbelievable arrogant a*holes Europeans can

  6. Apneaman on Sun, 7th May 2017 2:51 pm 

    More meaningless monkey politics. Zero effect on overshoot.

  7. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 3:02 pm 

    Richard Spencer draws the Right conclusions (twitter):

    Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer)
    07/05/2017, 20:48
    8/ My conclusion is that we’ve seen the limits of the typical Euro-Right nationalist parties (FN, BNP, Vlaams Belang, Wilders, et al.)

    Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer)
    07/05/2017, 20:55
    10/ We need to open ourselves up to different, supra-national models. A European political party? A global political party for White people?

    Exactly right.

  8. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 3:10 pm

    Marine le Pen admits defeat and announces new political force. In other words, she already is beginning the 2022 campaign.

    As I expected, Marine le Pen is catching up a little:

    37.7% – 62.3%

    Perhaps she will score 40+% after all.

  9. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 3:29 pm 

    With the current outcome of the French elections, no change in EU-Russia relations to be expected any time soon, Therefore no reason to halt the building of Turkstream.

  10. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 3:40 pm 

    Reasons why voters voted for Macron:

    Anti-Le Pen 43%
    For renewal 33%
    Program Macron 16%
    Macron as personality 8%

    This doesn’t bode well for Macron. Expect that in 6 months time Macron’s approval ratings will be in the cellar.

  11. Cloggie on Sun, 7th May 2017 3:45 pm 

    More meaningless monkey politics. Zero effect on overshoot.

    Why don’t you find yourself a shrink and seek treatment for nihilism.

    And while you are at it, take “You Don’t Want To Know Me” with you and let you both be treated for

  12. Antius on Sun, 7th May 2017 4:06 pm 

    Cowardice and stupidity win another election. In another 5 years this man’s credibility will be toast. But demographic changes will have worked their evil for another five years. Never underestimate the complacency and stupidity of well fed people.

  13. kervennic on Sun, 7th May 2017 4:28 pm 

    You first need a bank system collapse to shape a good Hitler:
    And to have a good bank collapse you need the bank system to take over the political system directly.

  14. Westexasfanclub on Sun, 7th May 2017 4:35 pm 

    Yes Antius. The next cyclical economic crisis is due and demographic changes will work their way. But when people wake up it’ll be too late (anyway, what can you do if your choice is between pest and cholera?).

    It will be too late because they will have forged an indestructible superstate right in the center of Europe, probable France, Benelux and Germany. Now that Britain is out, there’s nobody who will stop them. And they won’t wait until it’s too late.

    Not that such a structure by itself would be negative. I still like the idea of an united Europe. But the DNA they use to create it, is quite monstrous and not made for the common citizen at all.

  15. Anonymouse on Sun, 7th May 2017 6:29 pm 

    Only a worthless rag like wash-prop would characterize a neo-liberal shill like Marcon as a ‘centerist’. If Marcon is a ‘centerist’, then the word has no real meaning. But that’s how we roll words and concepts around here in Oceania….

    On the other side of this coin, uS and allied propaganda outlets have taken to characterizing anyone opposed to the neo-liberal Jew World Order, as ‘far-right’. The unspoken subtext here is, readers will come to conclusion(on their own) such parties are essentially closet neo-Nazi parties. Whether such characterizations are remotely accurate or not, is of little import.

    Because, you know, Hitler right?* But they dont quite want to come out say that, because then the neo-liberals own libel and slander type laws could potentially be used against them. So, according to ministry of truth, ‘far-right’ = the new Nationalist Socialst party (or your local equivalent). And if that wasnt enough to swallow, all the ‘centerists’ and ‘liberal’ parties these days, are wealth-concentrating, austerity proponents with a endless appetite for militarism, trickle up economics, corporatism and broad spectrum surveillance, all overseen and directed by Israel and Washingdum. Should your particular country not be Israel or amerika, makes little difference to these satelittle-states ‘centrist’ parties.

    *uS propanda has already designated President Putin of Russia as the ‘New’ Hitler, and there are only so many Hitlers to go around. Im sure Wash-prop would have loved to call Marine Frances answer to Hitler too, but, that would have diminished President Putin’s role as the new head of the 3rd Reich so….

  16. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 7th May 2017 10:38 pm 

    So the French really enjoy being run over by
    a truck driven by crazy immigrant Arabs.
    Guess they would rather commit suicide
    as a nation, than have balls enough to stop
    the bullcrap immigration invasion, schemed up
    by the radical globalist Hillary leftists.

    To show my opposition to the mass suicide of France,
    I am burning two couches in my backyard tonight.
    Not the usual one.

  17. Cloggie on Mon, 8th May 2017 12:12 am 

    Le Pen voters strongly correllated with muslim concentration:

  18. Cloggie on Mon, 8th May 2017 12:32 am 

    Important statistic: majority white French under 24 voted for le Pen. It is their future after all, not for the 1968 cowards.

    It is only a matter of time until the tinderbox explodes.

    The West, the last bullwark of communism. The West needs to be buried, like the Soviet empire.

  19. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 8th May 2017 2:07 am 

    Well Clogger, ya know what they say.
    Great nations aren’t killed, they commit suicide.

    It’s about the women. They won’t have kids anymore
    cause they want a career. With no more kids, the
    leftist hillaries import millions of Arab Muslim children
    to replace the natives. So the problem is the
    white women,
    who just also so happen to be those Hillary leftists.

    Hey is Holland as phucked over and invaded as France?
    Ya got all those Allah Akbar terrorists blowing up your shopping malls and running you over with big trucks?
    It’s a leftist Hilary favorite, they say you deserve it
    for working all day, and not living in poverty.

    And they are bolting cheap megaphones
    onto the sidewall of the gas station, playing ‘call to Mecca’ ? So much for clog dancing.

  20. Cloggie on Mon, 8th May 2017 3:30 am

    Macron attends victory rally against background of Louvre grandeur and sounds of the Beethoven European hymn (no jungle rap for us).

    Europe won, that is the good news.

    The European Right needs to reinvent itself and turn away from 19th century petty nationalism towards a European Right. And the formula to achieve that is “European Gaullism”, “Europe of the Fatherlands” or “Paris-Berlin-Moscow”.

  21. Cloggie on Mon, 8th May 2017 3:49 am 

    Hey is Holland as phucked over and invaded as France?

    17 million people, 2 million third world of which 1 million Muslim.
    (Slotervaart part of Amsterdam)

    Holland used to be a lovely country…

    …but Amsterdam and the other three big cities have become third world shit holes.

    It has been peace for too long already. The catastrophe is looming everywhere in the dying West, run by the Soros types and their media.

    Ya got all those Allah Akbar terrorists blowing up your shopping malls and running you over with big trucks?

    Not yet, they “only” killed anti-Islamic resistance fighter Theo van Gogh in broad daylight:

  22. Davy on Mon, 8th May 2017 6:38 am 

    It is always interesting to hear from the big investors on what they think. The reason is they are not concerned will asshole agendas they are greedy and concerned about making money. This investor is pouring cold water on the idea Europe is safe and secure because of a dubious election of a Euro puppet

    “Bill Blain: “Macron Will Prove A Disappointment As Nothing Is Actually Fixed In Europe”

    “I question the grand expressions of upside the market is calling for. France has dodged a bullet, perhaps, but they aint solved the crisis – which boils to down to being the wrong economy using the wrong currency and absolutely no control of monetary or fiscal policy to fix it.”

    “Macron has a head full of supply side policy cliches about sorting the labour market, and some catchy soundbites on Franco-German European hegemony – including the sacrifice of a fraction of the bloated state payroll. For all the hype, he’s a compromise of compromise candidates.”

    “I doubt it. He’s going to struggle to form any kind of working government in the face of the established parties, and hostility from right and left. There is also the likelihood the electorate will come to realise the gifted young game-changer is actually as establishment as they come. Don’t forget he is the protégé of Jacques Attali….Macron’s paid up membership of the discredited French upper class is something a better organised Front Nationale will play to in coming years.”

    “When Europe looks calm and sorted, its not. Nothing is actually fixed.. For all the happy posts this morning about Euro strength, which stocks to buy on the basis of French recovery, and the rest… I doubt it. Although there is apparently nothing to worry about in Euroland anymore – we’ve still got the festering pustule that is Italy, episode 47 of the Greek Crisis on our doorsteps, and the who knows what coming from the Brexit negotiations. Europe will continue to amuse, fascinate and frustrate..”

  23. Davy on Mon, 8th May 2017 6:45 am 

    “London Bridge Is Down”

    “The French election, won overnight by Emmanuel Macron, put several segments of the French population opposite one another in a pretty fierce contest. And that contest will continue. Because Macron won’t be able to lift the French economy out of its doldrums any more than Le Pen could have, or than Trump can life the US, and the new president will have the honor of presiding over a further and deepening downturn.”

    “Once enough people in the country understand the failure of ‘legal’ France, they will want ‘real’ France back. That will be true in countries all over Europe; to a large extent it already is. Marine Le Pen summed up the key issue really well a few days ago when she said of the country post election: “France will be led by a woman, me or Mrs. Merkel.” There is only one reason the French people would ever tolerate Germany having an outsized influence in their politics and economics: that they feel they benefit from it financially.”

  24. Cloggie on Mon, 8th May 2017 7:52 am 

    Marine Le Pen summed up the key issue really well a few days ago when she said of the country post election: “France will be led by a woman, me or Mrs. Merkel.

    That is precisely the reason why I am glad she didn’t win. This eternal resentment against Germany that 100 years ago led to Versailles. I’m glad there is a European roof over the competing nations. And Russia added to the mix could have a beneficial stabilizing influence.

    I still resent Merkel, but mainly for her insane immigration policies, but not for the rest.

  25. AFDF on Mon, 8th May 2017 8:48 am 

    So you think Frederic Bastiat is wrong when he said men love to plunder? Marine Le Pen lost because she said let’s do the plundering within France. That’s seems to me a very limited fishing ground.

    Of course men want to plunder globally. It’s trivial to see why Marcon won.

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