Macron Wins Landslide Victory in French Election: More of the Same?

By Martin Michelot

Martin Michelot is the Deputy Director of the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in Prague, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Paris office of German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency Sunday in a landslide victory over far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen – capturing 66.1 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 33.9.  President Donald Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win… I look very much forward to working with him!”

Macron’s win doesn’t mean the country is unified behind the centrist leader. According to four polls published Sunday, around one in four voters abstained, and a number of those who chose Macron did so as an anti-Le Pen decision, rather than a show of support for Macron. Now, Macron’s focus is on using this victory to propel his En Marche! party to leadership in June’s parliamentary elections. It’s unclear whether En Marche! will be able to field candidates in all 577 districts. Should he fail to gain a parliamentary majority, governing will be rough, potentially leaving him more of a  figurehead.

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