French Elections 2022 | After Emmanuel Macron's victory, two Frances emerge: jubilant and enraged

Updated: Apr 25, 2022, 03:39 PM(IST)

The French people have decided to give Emmanuel Macron another five years to prove himself. Protests marred the end of Macron's previous tenure, and it is believed that this will happen again.

As the election results were announced, massive crowds gathered in France, one pleased and one upset. Let's take a look:

Macron's win

In a suspenseful run-off election, French President Emmanuel Macron overcame his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, making Macron the first French President to win a second term in two decades. However, the far-right was closer than ever.

While the gap between the two candidates is large enough to ensure a clear victory, it is smaller than in previous polls.

According to the website of the French Ministry of the Interior, Macron received 58.5 percent of the vote, or 18.8 million votes, while Le Pen received 41.5 percent of the vote, or 13.3 million votes.

In the 2017 election, the two candidates received 66.1 percent of the vote with 20.7 million votes and 33.9 percent of the vote with 10.6 million votes, respectively.

(Photograph:AFP)

Genuine happiness

Some voters were genuinely happy with Macron's win.

"I'm very happy about the result because this president has already steered us through several challenges," said 65-year-old lorry driver Lucien Sozinho. "He has shown courage, and there you have it, that's the result."

(Photograph:AFP)

Angry demonstrations

Demonstrators took to the streets in Paris and Lyon on Sunday night in protest against French President Emmanuel Macron's election win over far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

Protesters threw fireworks at a police car in Lyon, while police fired tear gas and charged at dozens gathered in Place de la Republique square in Paris.

Police earlier in Paris tried to break up a crowd of mostly young protesters who had gathered in the central neighbourhood of Chatelet.

(Photograph:AFP)

People demand a better mandate

Macron can likely expect the protests that have marred some of his first mandate to come back as he tries to push his business reforms, including plans to push the retirement age from 62 to 65 years.

"He's not going to do another five years of the same mandate, that's clear. We won't let him do it," said 63-year-old administrative worker Colette Sierra.

"If he does, I think people are ready to take to the streets if there isn’t the right kind of coalition government."

(Photograph:AFP)

A divided France

The population of France is not simply divided between those who are pleased with the victory and those who are enraged. The election results also reflect a divided country.

Macron won, but it wasn't as big as the one he had in 2017, and the far right was closer than it had ever been.

In the election, 6.35 percent of voters cast blank ballots, indicating that they did not support either candidate, demonstrating their dislike of both Le Pen and Macron.

Even if Macron avoided a political earthquake, the results show widespread unhappiness. 

The French president acknowledged this and stated that he would endeavour to make amends.

"To those who voted for me, not to support my ideas but to block those of the extreme right, your vote obliges me. This evening, I am no longer the candidate of one camp, but the President of all.” he remarked on Twitter.

(Photograph:AFP)

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