Perspective on the French Election

Written by Ema Sabljak

The French election promised to carry much weight and its results are not to be overlooked. With candidates such as Marine la Pen who spoke strongly for the idea of France leaving the European Union, the election may have been one of the most decisive election for the fate of the whole EU.

On the 7th of May Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France after beating Marine la Pen by a large majority. However, the election itself did not leave everybody satisfied. In fact, after the first round on the 23rd of April protests broke out in Paris as people were appalled by the two choices.

[On La Pen and Macron] One of the elected candidate wants frexit and is a huge racist and the other one doesn’t have a clear program and contradicts himself all the time

This attitude was shared by a group French youth who were surveyed for this site. The majority of these 16 to 25-year-old clarified that they would vote for François Fillon, which was closely followed by Emmanuel Macron. While some disapproved of Macron, others still found redeeming qualities. However, from the group not a single person would or wished to vote for Marine La Pen. Far right populism clearly does not sit well with the French youth.

[On what they approve of  in the election] Macron is the pro-european [sic]. I like the fact that his foreign policy is characteristic of the left and his policies on economy are liberal (he’s a capitalist) so from the right.

The general consensus of the surveyed youth, was that there was not a real understanding of the candidates programs and that rather they were put into biased boxes according to their party.

Fundamental economic concerns were nearly left out of the debate. The vote was principally based on a general feeling about the candidate rather than a real understanding of what its program was.

But further than that there was also a general dissatisfaction with the media and its influence on the election. It was believed that the media shaped the election by focusing only on the “big players” – a sentiment which is deeply reminiscent of the 2016 American election whereby Bernie Sanders was ignored by the larger media.

Media tended to focus on 4 main candidates which contributed to their high-percentage during the premier tour [sic].

But now that the election has passed, we can only look at how Macron handles his new election. Having often been called “generally inoffensive” it is unlikely he will rock the boat, which may just bode well for the stability of France, and especially so for the European Union.

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