The re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron retained the support of Paris and the surrounding regions, as well as the people of the Brittany. But in northern industrial areas, as well as in areas with high levels of poverty, people do not trust him.
Click on the selected department to display the detailed result of the election (turnout, share of votes and absolute numbers).
Poor French report attention
Before the second round, President Macron first went to Marine Le Pen’s bastion in Denain, one of the poorest French cities in the industrial north of the country. The reason was simple: Le Pen’s team focused on the cost-of-living crisis in the campaign, which is affecting a large part of the French population.
“Obviously we are not listening enough to the 38 million French people who earn less than 2,000 euros (50,000 CZK) a month,” the BBC quoted Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin as commenting on the situation around the presidential election. (The figure is inaccurate, France has a population of 65 million, of which 38 million have to live on less than 2,000 euros a month, but including children and the elderly. The average net salary is 2,300 euros – editor’s note).
And it was with this knowledge that Macron set out for the northern cities of Denain, Carvin and Lens, where Marine Le Pen won the first round.
Inequalities in the “égalité” country
Although France is not as unfairly divided into “those who have” and “those who do not” as some other countries, there are great differences between regions in terms of wealth.
While voters in France’s northernmost Nord department convinced voters and won Emmanuel Macron with 52.9% of the vote, in the neighboring Pas-de-Calais, where the steel town of Lens is located, Marine Le Pen also won in the second round with 57, 5% of the vote.
Macron also received lukewarm support in Provence on the Côte d’Azur or, conversely, in the northern region of Hauts-de-France on the border with Belgium and the English Channel, where the country has the second highest poverty rate.
Close to the poverty rate, Occitanie is in the far south on the border with Spain, where about a fifth of the population is affected by poverty and where Macron is not very convincing either. In two departments, Pyrénées-Orientales and Aude, he did not win in the second round either, winning only 43 and 45% of the vote. In Ariège, he won only very narrowly with 51%.
Macron has sympathy mainly in older women
Emmanuel Macron is elected more often by women (58%) than men (42%) and significantly more often by people over the age of 70 (68%). One reason may be easy identification with First Lady Brigitte Macron, who celebrated her 69th birthday in April this year, while her husband is 44 years old.
The president has the lowest support for voters between the ages of 25 and 59, and support grows visibly with age.
Compared to occupations and whether voters are gainfully employed, Macron has by far the highest support among managers (72%) and retirees (65%). It has by far the least support among workers (30%)
The first round just about the breasts
Macron held voter support convincingly until the beginning of April this year, when just before the first round his main rival Marine Le Pen jumped significantly, while the president visibly fell in the polls. At that moment, doubts arose as to whether Macron would make it to the second round at all, or whether the voter fluctuations would not be reflected in the overall victory of Marine Le Pen or the left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Macron eventually gained a nearly 5 percent lead over Le Pen in the first round, although polls just before the vote indicated that the fight would be tighter.
All relevant from June 2020 to April 2022: Clicking on the selected point will display the exact date of the survey, the result and the name of the agency that conducted it.
Le Pen almost dropped out
Jean-Luc Mélenchon finally waved with the first round with 22%. Voters gave him more and more support at the last minute. Nationalist conservative candidate Le Pen stayed ahead of him by just a percentage point.
Mélenchon succeeded significantly in Arm and the adjacent departments.
Each vote was played
In the second round, Emmanuel Macron extracted the votes of his opponents from the first round and gained the support of those who voted left-wing candidates in the first round. Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, garnered the votes of Eric Zemmour or Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and failed to mobilize her own first-round voters.
While Macron was going to be re-elected by 98% of the people who voted for him in the first round, Marine Le Pen was “only” 94%. The difference may seem negligible, but when we turn the share of the electorate into real votes, in populous France it is in the order of millions. And missing a million voters is not a negligible difference, especially when presidential elections are decided by their absolute number.
But Macron also lost – compared to the last presidential election in 2017. At the time, it convinced 52% of Jean-Luc Mélenchon voters, only 36% this year.
Presidential election in France
The second round of direct elections took place on Sunday, April 24, based on the results of the first round, in which Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen succeeded.
In the second round, a simple majority of valid votes decides: if one of the candidates gets one vote more than the other, he is elected.
For most of the campaign, incumbent President Macron seemed to win comfortably in the second round. But Le Pen’s sharp rise in electoral preferences in recent weeks has led to doubts about Macron’s clear victory. The key for him was that he again attracted a significant part of the French, who elected Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round.
After a failed first round, the far-left politician Mélenchon urged his constituents not to give a single vote to Marine Le Pen, giving the centrist Macron somewhat ambivalent support.
Macron represents better abroad
According to a survey published just before the second round by the Ipsos agency, the topics of the French presidential election were not only the country’s economic growth or public deficits and debts, but also the environment, the covid-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine.
For example, respondents were asked: “Do you think it would be better if Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen were elected President of the Republic?” Which was related to selected topics.
Of the 14 areas tested, eight are in favor of Emmanuel Macron, but six are in favor of his opponent.
According to voters, Macron better represents abroad or in the domestic economy, while Le Pen is more often associated with expectations in the field of social inequality, crime, pensions or the purchasing power of the population. In the areas of unemployment, education or healthcare, the score is closely in favor of Macron.
No relief for the rich
President Macron’s voters did not forget the Yellow Vest movement in 2018, when there were mass nationwide protests against his business-friendly policies and tax cuts for the rich.
In an effort to re-elect, Macron sought the votes of left-wing voters and eventually eased plans to reform the pension system, which he found very generous. He promised his supporters that he would continue to “work for a fairer and more equal society,” and said that “we must be demanding and ambitious.”