French Election 2017:
The data explaining Macron's victory

                       

Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen to become the 25th president of France. He received 66.1% of the vote - despite a record high abstention. The second-round result is in line with what pollsters predicted in the last weeks.

Most polls gave the pro-EU centrist candidate a lead of around 20 percentage points over the Front National leader. On election day this gap increased to 32 percentage points with Macron, 39, becoming the youngest president elected since Napoleon. He is also the youngest elected world leader since the US president JFK.

Emmanuel Macron

Marine Le Pen

Pro-Europe, centrist,

new to politics

Far right nationalist,

anti EU and anti immigration

66.1%

33.9%

Elected President

Emmanuel Macron

66.1%

Pro-Europe, centrist,

new to politics

Marine Le Pen

33.9%

Far right nationalist,

anti EU and anti immigration

Great abstention

Macron was able to win across all the country, with Le Pen winning just two of 107 departments. Macron's best performance was in Paris, where almost nine in 10 voted for him. He even reached 100% of votes in 22 French communes.

However, the second round was characterised by a high level of abstention. Just above a quarter of the French population – 25.44% – are estimated to have not voted. This number was boosted by numerous supporters of the conservative Francois Fillon and the far-left's Jean-Luc Mélenchon who believed neither Macron or Le Pen were fit for the position. The level of abstention was the highest in France since 1981.

30%

25%

20%

15%

10%

5%

0%

1995

2002

1981

1988

2007

2012

2017

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

2017

2012

2007

2002

1995

1988

1981

Education and unemployment: Two key factors

Le Pen showed her strength in areas with high unemployment and lower wages, regions where she campaigned hard in the last six months. She promised to stop immigration and reconsider France's role inside the European Union with other member states – including a referendum on whether to stay in.

Unemployment

Le Pen

<30%

+40%

<8%

+10%

+30%

+50%

+8%

+12%

Le Pen

<30%

+30%

+40%

+50%

Unemployment

<8%

+8%

+10%

+12%

Macron, who based all his campaign on a pro-Europe platform, gained much support from those who didn't vote for him in the first round. His voters came from areas with high levels of high education. Le Pen's voters came mainly from those with low education levels.
This demographic indicator has been seen in other recent votes, in particular the US, where Donald Trump's promises were popular with similar groups.

Emmanuel Macron

Marine Le Pen

35%

31%

28%

25%

19%

17%

17%

8%

Secondary School

University (BA)

Ba + Master

PhD and other study

Emmanuel Macron

Marine Le Pen

17%

Secondary

School

31%

19%

University

(BA)

25%

28%

Ba +

Master

17%

35%

Phd and

ther study

8%

French youth attracted by far-right ideologies

The OpinionWay sociology study of the presidential election reveals that 44% of those aged between 18-24 voted for Le Pen and 56% voted for Macron. This number is surprisingly high for Le Pen. Other age classes voted overwhelmingly for Macron, attracted by the policies offered by the first non-mainstream party candidate.

Le Pen has lost but not the far-right

Le Pen lost the presidential election but the problems raised by her bid are still there and are now even more exposed. She gained twice the support that her father did in 2002, establishing the Front National as the second most important party in France - a warning from the far-right to the rest of Europe.

2017

2002

2012

1988

1995

2007

En Marche!

64%

82%

53%

48%

46%

53%

Republicans

Socialists

Front

National

36%

54%

47%

18%

47%

52%

Republicans

Socialists

46%

54%

1988

53%

47%

1995

18%

82%

2002

53%

47%

2007

48%

52%

2012

64%

36%

2017

En Marche!

Front

National