Do not be fooled, nearly one-third of all French voters opted for everything that their new president is not.
Beating Marine Le Pen in the final round of the presidential election was perhaps the easiest task Emmanuel Macron will have in the next five years. This is because the movement she represents is far greater than the woman herself.
Macron’s win was impressive. His claim over 66 per cent of the overall vote marked the biggest majority since Chirac’s victory in 2002. Remarkably, he also took all but two of France’s departments.
Despite appearances, Macron’s battle is far from over. Whichever way analysts have tried to distort the outcome, it is an inescapable reality that nearly 11 million French people opted for a borderline fascist regime.
Eleven million opted for a Frexit vote, the demise of the Euro, capped immigration, and a style of leadership much different from the one that Macron offers. A leadership characterised by globalism, a pro-European stance, and being the figurehead of liberal elitism.
Le Pen, in spite of her Trumpite populist rhetoric, was an opportunity for France’s rust-belt and beyond. This opportunity simply does not exist with Macron … and Le Pen has made sure that her supporters know that.
The new French President will never get all of Le Pen’s voters on side. Nor should he try to bargain with the far-right core supporters of the Front National. But he must try to focus his efforts on the politically disenfranchised.
France is divided by epic standards. Should Macron carry on with the pro-EU, pro-globalist, pro-immigration rhetoric that France has seen for over five years, Le Pen’s support base will only grow. More importantly, she knows this, and in five years’ time, she will be back again.
Her appeal in 2022 will be down to the success of the Macron presidency.