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Fractured French populace may thwart Macron

Monday, May 8, 2017

Significance

Macron won 66% of the vote versus Le Pen’s 34%, on a turnout of nearly 76% -- the second-lowest for a second-round election since 1965. Once Macron is sworn in (by May 14), his selection of a caretaker government, and particularly of a prime minister, will provide only a temporary clue as to how he might govern, for the legislative elections on June 11 and 18 risk leaving him without a parliamentary majority.

Impacts

  • The French-German axis will strengthen, even if Chancellor Angela Merkel fails to be re-elected in September.
  • Macron will restore France’s engagement in EU policy-making, with particular implications for Greece and the United Kingdom.
  • France’s stance towards Russia may harden due to Moscow's likely interference in the election.
  • Macron will likely adopt a pragmatic, Merkel-like approach to US President Donald Trump.
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