French election results, round one. Looks like Macron and Le Pen

(2:20) Interesting bit of analysis on the type of attacks which will be coming Macron’s way from Le Pen.

Mujtaba Rahman, head of Europe practice at the Eurasia Group risk consultancy, said that he now expects a “very competitive” race between Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen.

Speaking to The Telegraph he said: “Although there is relief that at least one mainstream candidate has made it into the runoff, Le Pen will now turn the second round into a referendum on the status quo.

“Macron will be forced to defend immigration, the EU and openness, and these are all things French voters have become more suspicious of in recent years. We now expect a very competitive race over the next two weeks.”

That’s about right. Much like a primary in the United States, Le Pen ran the race she had to run to get to a two person showdown. Now she’ll demand Macron defend everything that French voters have been ticked off about. Still an uphill climb for Le Pen in some regards, but I think it’s going to get lively.

(2:10) Well, that was fast. The Telegraph is saying it’s pretty much a lock for Macron in first and Le Pen in second.

Emmanuel Macron on 23.7 per cent and Marine Le Pen on 21.7 per cent in French election says Ipsos https://t.co/ip3rVlFLHA pic.twitter.com/c7yBAJlf6G

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 23, 2017

That’s still awfully close, though, so let’s wait until we get a larger percentage of the vote counted before closing this down.

Original article follows:

Right around 2 pm eastern today (when this goes live) the polls will be closing in France and we’ll finally have part of the answer to the big questions over the direction France will take from here. (Some stations closed a bit earlier and the counting actually began around 1:30.) It may well have significant ramifications for the entire EU and the future of “globalism” in Europe. The French use paper ballots and they’re not doing official exit polls this year, so the call will be based on partial counts. Of course, if either of the top two slots turns out to be a real nail biter, we could be waiting well into the evening. We’ll update this thread at the top as we learn more.

One thing we do know to a virtual certainty is that we won’t know who the next president will be tonight. In order to avoid a runoff in June, one of the candidates would need to get a majority of the vote today. Even if the polls were literally off by 100% for any of these candidates they would still come up short.

For what it’s worth, the Telegraph has some live updates going on already and they are claiming to have early projections. This is all based on one media outlet from Belgium which supposedly has the early exit polls. They’re saying that Emmanuel Macron has a “slight” lead with the next three candidates “neck and neck” behind him, which is basically useless information at this point. But if that information holds they’ve got Macron leading Le Pen by just over one percent, meaning they would go into the final round.

With only an hour to go until the results of the French Presidential first round are declared, the initial forecasting and some private polling indicators suggest that the run-off will, as the polls predicted, be between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.

https://twitter.com/gelliottmorris/status/856147427459575808

So will the French make a hard turn to the right with Marine Le Pen and the National Front? Will they go full bore communist with Jean-Luc Mélenchon? Macron would also be a further left option than the French have embraced for a while. Or perhaps they will go with the safety of what’s more familiar to them and put Francois Fillon over the top. Turnout is reported to be slightly higher than normal today, but nothing really outrageous. Fears that a lot of people might choose to sit out the election haven’t materialized, but if two of the more “outside” candidates go to the runoff those concerns will no doubt be repeated yet again over the next couple of months.

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