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What Do the French Expect from New President?

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On May 7 the second and final round of the presidential elections will be held in France and as the surveys show, the lowest level of  participation since the presidential election of 1965 is expected. However, the current elections differ from the previous ones not only in this context. For the first time since 1958 in the first round of the French presidential elections leading socialist or right-of-center candidates do not win, moreover, they do not go to the second round.

Thus, the typical political system of the 5th French Republic, when despite lots of political parties, the power was in the hands of two main parties - the left-wing Socialists and the right-wing Republican, is yielding its positions. While many say that the migration crisis and the high level of threat of terrorism had an impact on the election results, as researches show, the French electorate is strongly affected by social and economic factors. It should be noted, that the economic crisis in France continues to unfold under presidency of Republican Nicolas Sarkozy and socialist Francois Hollande. As a result, the French have decided not to give their votes to the party's candidates, who, being in power, could not overcome the problems facing the country.

It should be noted that Marine Le Pen's party, which traditionally did not address the socio-economic issues, has referred to this topic a lot during the campaign. At the same time ahead of the elections Marine Le Pen left the "heritage" of his father "liberating" "National Front" party from the radical nationalist views, which increased its electorate.

A big impact on the creation of such a picture had the scandal around Francois Fillon, the obvious favorite at the beginning of the campaign. Moreover, if the scandal over Fillon helped Le Pen to pass the second round, it increased the chances of Macron to become the president of France. From Macron-Le Pen pair political elite of France expressed its support for Macron. Of course, this image would be somewhat different, if Fillon was in the second round. Ordinary citizens also tend to vote for Macron: 62% is going to vote for Macron, 38 percent – for Le Pen.

The key to such success of Macron perhaps is that he has appeared in the political life of the country more recently, because he has not expressed "revolutionary ideas" during the campaign, moreover, it is openly spoken that he would continue the current President Francois Hollande's political line, with which the French are so unhappy.


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