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Monday, May 8, 2017

The Key Metric Of The French Election

Macron beat LePen in the French election.  This was as expected.  What I find surprising, however, is that fully one third of voters either abstained or spoiled their ballots.  That's one third of the people who took the time to vote decided to choose neither candidate.

This is a major statement of discontent by the French voters.  Think what it means.  If you read the news you are told that the vote split roughly 64% for Macron and 36% for LePen.  That is correct, but only if you ignore the voters who decided to choose neither candidate.  If you add them in, then Macron got 64% of two thirds of voters or 43% of the total vote.  LePen's percentage goes down to 24%.  In other words, it means that Macron did not win a majority of those who voted.  Oh, he still won the election, but it was not the smashing triumph about which we are being told in the media.

The most important result of this unprecedented level of rejection of the two candidates will be seen in the upcoming elections to the French legislature.  Macron does not start with a majority who would be likely to support the candidates he endorses.  Instead, Macron starts with 57% of the voters who chose either LePen or neither candidate.  It means that Macron will find it much harder to produce a sympathetic legislature in those elections.

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