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The 2017 French presidential elections

Emmanuel Macron wins and is elected president. He is the youngest ever President of France (39 years old).

French citizens will vote to elect the 25th President of the French Republic. The elections take place in two rounds, the 23rd April and the 7th May.

Round 2

Emmanuel Macron wins the election with 65% of “OUI” (YES) votes. He will be the French president for 5 years.

Results from round 1

The outgoing president is His Excellency François Hollande, in office since 2012. He decided not to be a candidate to his own succession although he is eligible. 11 candidates met the criteria required to run for the presidential office. With an average of 55 years, the candidates are relatively young and of diverse backgrounds.

The presidential candidates

For the first vote on 23 April, French voters will either abstain from voting, return a blank ballot vote (which is considered an invalid vote), or give their vote to one of the following candidates (in alphabetical order):

  • Nathalie Arthaud from the Worker’s Struggle (Lutte Ouvrière). Mrs. Arthaud claims to represent the workers and all those abandoned and/or oppressed by capitalism. A professor of economy by trade, she says she is the only true communist candidate. (radical-left)
  • François Asselineau of the Popular Republic Union (UPR). Mr. Asselineau’s candidacy came as a surprise, but he managed to meet all the criteria (the most difficult for “unusual” candidates is to secure the support of 500 mayors). His policy is based on anti-NATO, anti-American feelings. He also wants a FREXIT from the European Union. On the pollitical spectrum, Mr. Asselineau is difficult to place, although he is described as a far-right Eurosceptic.
  • Jacques Cheminade, of the party Solidarity and Progress (Solidarité et Progrès). Mr. Cheminade is famous to have predicted the 2008 financial crisis in the 1990s. He is a NATO and Eurosceptic, in favour of a controlled immigration which is considers necessary because of France demographic difficulties. Solidarity and Progress is generally conservative and wants to find a medium ground between liberalism, capitalism and Marxism.
  • Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, of the party Arise France (Debout la France). Mr. Dupont-Aignan claims to be the sole representative of the Gaullist legacy. His policy is based on French sovereignty which is according to Dupont-Aignan impossible with the current European Union (which he would like to be reformed), the current border policies and common Euro currency. He also wants to control immigration, establish a form of protectionism and improve France’s relation with Eurasian countries. Dupont-Aignan is categorized as a candidate of the right and he himself claims to be between the National Front and François Fillon.
  • François Fillon, of The Republicans party. Mr. Fillon is a former Environment and Prime Minister under Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency. The policies he advocates are categorized as liberal economically speaking and conservative on moral issues. Mr. Fillon wants to work with the European nations to make the Union stronger against both American and Russian influences, he also wants to severely control immigration and help France find its “roots” back (Catholicism, opposes gay marriage) although he declared being able to disconnect his opinion from the principles of the Republican regime (secularism). (Right)
  • Benoît Hamon is the candidate of the Socialist Party, former minister of Education and then of Social Economy under François Hollande’s presidency. Mr. Hamon also became the representative of Les Verts, the Green-Ecology party. He is very critical of François Hollande’s government. His program offers to create a 6th Republic, to institute a universal income set between 600€ and 750€, decriminalize consumption of soft drugs. Hamon and the Socialist Party are strong supporters of the European Union. (Left candidate)
  • Jean Lassalle is one of the surprise candidates for the 2017 election. Mr. Lassalle does not have an important political career except being a delegate at the National Assembly and the mayor of his village for 40 years (a village with a population of 162). He claims to be the defender of rural France, to protect the presence of public services (such as police stations in remote areas). He is skeptical about the future of the European Union which he describes as lacking in democracy and reducing the national identities of its members. But he has not declared being opposed to it. He is against the TTIP agreement. Mr. Lassalle is famous for his 5,000 kilometers visit of France and of the French, on foot in 2013. (center/center-right)
  • Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front. Mrs. Le Pen is also a is a member of the European Parliament. Her program is based on economic protectionism, on a strict control of immigration and a certain skepticism about the European Union. She made the promise to hold referendums on the issues of a FREXIT, the re-institution of the death penalty, to abolish gay marriages and to change several aspects of the constitution. Mrs. Le Pen wants to increase the budget of national security, the secularism of France and reduce but not abandon nuclear energy.
  • Emmanuel Macron, leader of Forward! Party (En Marche!). Mr. Macron, the youngest candidate -39 years old-, is a former minister of the Economy under François Hollande’s presidency and a banker by trade. Originally a member of the Socialist Party, Mr. Macron recently created his own movement. He claims to be neither from the left or the right and wants to end the division between left and right which should be replaced by a “progressive/conservative” split. His program is based on a strong European feeling, the need to keep strong ties with the United States (although he opposed some aspects of the TTIP), to increase ties with Canada. He also stated that an open-door policy regarding immigration will benefit the French economy and help its relatively weak demographics. Although Mr. Macron refused the traditional left/right political spectrum, he is considered a central/central-right candidate.
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the Unsubmissive France (La France Insoumise!) movement. Mr. Mélenchon, a former member of the Communist Party, is a member of the European Parliament and wants to gather the French left around him. His political program is based on an anti-capitalistic feeling and he wants to create a 6th Republic, reform the European Union, distribute wealth to all French citizens and to loosen the influence of the United States on France which he claims is not independent. (left/radical-left)
  • Philippe Poutou, representative of the New Anti-capitalistic Party (NPA). Mr. Poutou, a worker in a Ford factory and trade unionist, claims to represent the Trotskyist ideology and is one of the surprise candidates of the 2017 elections. A long time radical-left militant in the Revolutionary Communist Party, he desires to prevent politics from creating a social class of individuals who are raised and educated in the perspective of being politicians. He also denounces capitalism, a world split by borders and the European Union. He declared knowing very well that he is not going to be elected but the campaign is his way to spread his opinion and message. (radical-left)

The two candidates obtaining the most votes will run for a second round on 7 May 2017.

Note that the description given of the candidates’ political opinion and program are not exhaustive and are meant to be a broad summary of their programs which are available on their respective websites.

Election results

Round 1, voted on the 23rd April 2017

Mr. Emmanuel MACRON and Mme Marine LE PEN go through to the second round, all the other candidates are therefore eliminated.

Candidates Total votes Percentage of votes
Mr. Emmanuel MACRON 8 528 585 23,86
Mme Marine LE PEN 7 658 990 21,43
Mr. François FILLON 7 126 632 19,94
Mr. Jean-Luc MÉLENCHON 7 011 856 19,62
Mr. Benoît HAMON 2 268 838 6,35
Mr. Nicolas DUPONT-AIGNAN 1 689 686 4,73
Mr. Jean LASSALLE 433 996 1,21
Mr. Philippe POUTOU 392 454 1,10
Mr François ASSELINEAU 329 951 0,92
Mme Nathalie ARTHAUD 231 660 0,65
Mr. Jacques CHEMINADE 65 076 0,18

Voting figures supplied by the French Minister of the Interior.

The second round of votes is on the 7th May 2017