1+1 is 2

President Macron’s high score in the second round could be intriguing for the following reasons.

The polling institutes in the second round gave during this election at the most a margin of 8 points between the two candidates, so a result of 54% for the outgoing president and 46% for Marine Le Pen.

No comment was made on the evening of the second round concerning these polls and the surprising result of candidate Macron.

However, it seems that from an arithmetic point of view it is legitimate to ask the question of how the president achieved this result with a base of voting intentions more or less equal or lower to those of his predecessors.

In addition, he did not benefit from such a large pool of votes as in the 2017 election, as well as the support of the legendary Republican front which was not this time a weapon used against the candidate of Le Rassemblement National.

So how did Emmanuel Macron suddenly become the most popular candidate, from an electoral point of view, in the history of the fifth republic?

Let’s first compare the results of this election with those of 2017.

On April 24th, Emmanuel Macron presented himself in the second round in pole position with 27.84% of voting intentions. Marine Le Pen came second with 23.15% followed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 21.95%. Far behind Eric Zemmour 7.07%. All the other candidates dived below the 5% mark.

The first observation to make is that the votes of Jean-Luc Mélenchon will not go to the president and that the LR party arriving at a score of 4.78% cannot be a great support to him, contrary of the election of 2017 where the LR had obtained 20.01% of the votes and an almost total postponement on the candidacy of President Macron who had won the first round with 24.01%, thus culminating with more than 44% of the votes that evening. 6.1% of votes therefore to look for and a presidency assured.

6% of the votes that Macron will receive from the Socialists having obtained in the first round 6.36% of voting intention, plus a Republican front which will have played in his favor, thus obtaining 66.01% of the votes in the second round.

Score justified.

A lower score certainly than that of Jacques Chirac in 2002 elected with 82% of the votes, thanks to this republican front.

Abstainers will therefore not have been a factor in explaining such a high score.

By adding all the votes of the LR, the ecologists, the socialists, even the communists, we obtain a total of around 14%, which would position the candidate, with his 27%, close to 41%. About 10 points are needed to be elected. It’s quite plausible by likely collecting other votes from parties below the 3% mark and from a handful of voters from La France Insoumise who wanted to ensure that Marine Le Pen would be removed from power that Macron’s victory would take place around 52%-53% at the most.

With 31.18% in the first round in 2007, Sarkozy did not gather more than 53.06% of votes in the second. As well as François Hollande with 28.63% on the evening of the first round which ended his campaign with 51.63% of the vote.

Scores similar to those of their predecessors.

34.10% and 54.02% for François Mitterrand in 1988.

Jacques Chirac 24% and 52.6% in 1995

Of course the context is different, but considering that years ago the votes of the French were pro-candidate ones, as demonstrated by the historic score of François Mitterrand in the first round of the election in 1988 with 34.10%, and that since 2012 they are anti-candidates votes, we can ask ourselves how Emmanuel Macron, not having being a popular candidate, was able to achieve such a result by facing the facts related previously during this election.

The question can be asked and remains asked.


Photo courtesy of AFP / Sylvie HUSSON

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