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2017 French Presidential Election! 3 Facts About the Campaign, Vote and Winner!

VO: Matthew Wende
Written by Matt Wende The vote held by France on May 7 2017, in which they elected Emmanuel Macron as the new President of the country. WatchMojo presents WatchMojo News, where we give you three facts you need to know about the election, the campaign, and the voting. How did Macron win? What was the result for Marine Le Pen? What's next for the country? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: To vote for what news story we cover next, check out our suggest page here: WatchMojo.commy/suggest.php

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On May 7th, 2017, the people of France voted, and in a sweeping victory, Emmanuel Macron was elected to be the country’s next president.

Welcome to WatchMojo news, the series from where we look at news stories that should be on your radar! In this instalment, we’re taking a look at 3 things you should know about France’s historic election.

#3: Who Were the Candidates?

After a long campaign, the race came down to two candidates: Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen campaigned with her party, Front National or National Front in English, as the far right candidate. She supported a nationalist-populist doctrine, promising a referendum to withdraw from the European Union, as well as stronger security. In April 2016, Emmanuel Macron established the Political Party he would run in the election with, “En Marche!” which translates to “Forward!” or “On the Move!”. A progressive movement, En Marche!’s aim was to include both the left and right; the party was at once both liberal and centrist. In the end, Macron took a decisive victory with just over two-thirds of the total vote.

#2: How Did Macron Win?

Macron himself is something of an enigma; a former investment banker who was once a member of the socialist party, he served under President Hollande as the Minister of Economy before becoming an independent and eventually forming "En Marche!". In his political views, he’s managed to strike a balance, supporting a free market as well as left wing social issues, but is overall labeled a centrist – although he’s stated that he’s neither right nor left. In what was a vitriolic campaign, Macron’s victory is the result of several different factors coinciding. First of all, one must consider whom he was running against. Elections were first held on April 23rd, 2017, but with no candidate achieving a majority of the vote, a runoff vote was held with the frontrunners that pitted Macron head to head with Le Pen. Many voters felt Le Pen’s message projected pessimism and negativity. Meanwhile, Macron took inspiration from Barack Obama’s 2008 US presidential campaign and organized a grass-roots movement that focused on youth, inclusion, and optimism. Le Pen’s polling numbers continued to drop leading up to the election, after which she conceded to Macron.

#1: What’s Next for France?

With the two candidates carrying such strongly opposing views, the 66.1% of the vote for Macron speaks very clearly about the direction the people of France wish to see their country move in. In a speech to his supporters, Macron vowed to continue to fight the forces of division, echoing his campaign promises of unity. With Le Pen having promised a referendum to leave the EU, many leaders within the European Union have shown relief at the results of the Election. Only time will tell how his new party will be able to perform its duties as the country’s leaders.

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