Last week, French presidential elections proclaimed Emmanuel Macron as president of France for the next five years and a second term. Macron got 58,6% of the votes, meaning nearly nineteen million people voting for him.
If Marine Le Pen was defeated, she still won 41,4% of the votes, a record for the extreme right party Rassemblement National (once Front National when her father Jean-Marie Le Pen was ruling the party): as a matter of fact, it is the first time that an extreme right party in France has made such a score, which also means more than thirteen million votes.
Does it mean that extreme right influence and ideas have been spreading in France over the last few years? Basically yes, if we refer to figures that undoubtedly show a real progress and more and more people voting for the extreme right party as years go by.
And yet, this “improvement” does not automatically mean that such ideas are more common in France. France did not move into a xenophobic country or anything like that. But there are some xenophobic people living in France, as everywhere else in the world. The step that turned this fact to a great score of RN in the votes and a huge 41,4% is far more complex.
This should not leave untold that the new president will have a lot of work to do to struggle against this feeling to have a country that is somewhat divided. The upcoming legislative elections will be decisive to get the majority in the national assembly where deputies sit and thus have the possibility to enforce the proposals depicted in Macron’s program.
In this context of war in Europe and worldwide pandemic, the duty will be hard for the freshly elected president. But he signed for it.