Emmanuel Macron won by far: It is less likely that he was able to convince voters. Abstention was around 25 percent (that is one voter in four) the highest level since 1969, in almost half a century of history of the Fifth Republic.
Twelve percent of citizens who went to the polls deposited a white or void card, double the previous record set in 1969, in a run-off between a centrist and a Gaullist candidate while the left was left out.
Despite the fact he earned 66 percent of the valid votes, now the question is how Macron will govern. Contrary to what many think, France has a political system where the president is not the head of government and the prime minister needs a majority in the House. Macron’s party, En Marche!, will have to conquer, together with his allies, at least 289 seats out of the 577 seats on the National Assembly. Not an easy task.
The two-round electoral system in individual constituencies, created by the 1958 Constitution, was designed for the alternation between two large blocks, marginalizing the smaller political forces. This year, however, the big traditional parties (the Gaullists and Socialists) have not even gotten to the second round of the presidential elections. Therefore, in June, each college will see at least five competing candidates: the followers of the new President, the Socialists, the Gaullists, the National Front and the left led by Mélenchon.