Monday, June 19, 2017

Macron Wins Parliamentary Majority But Not Popular Support

In the first round of the Presidential election Macron came top with 8.656m votes, 24% of the votes cast or 18% of those registered to vote. Macron's big challenge was to build on this victory and grow support for himself and his party En Marche.

Despite winning a large majority in Parliament yesterday, Macron failed to grow his support. Just 7.26m voted for En Marche yesterday, in an election where turnout was historically low. In total 8.93m people voted for En Marche and their partners the Democratic Movement. This represents just 18.76% of those registered to vote. This is up on the 18% he won in the first round of the Presidential election but only marginally.

A detailed look at the votes

In the second Presidential round Macron was up against just the far right leader Le Pen. He won this comfortably with 66% of the votes cast to Le Pen's 34%. However, a large part of this vote was a vote to keep Le Pen out and not a vote for Macron. An Ipsos Mori poll found that 43% of those voting Macron did not support him but voted for him in order to keep Le Pen out.

This implies 12.1m were positive votes for Macron. A significant step up from the 8.656m votes he won in the first round and a sign of growing support.

In the first round of the Assembly elections Macron and his coalition partners the Democratic Movement won 32.2% of the votes cast but only 49% of the population voted. Thus Macron's En Marche only won 6.4m votes or 7.323m votes with the DM. This larger total is still less than he received in the first round of the presidential elections or 15.4% of those eligible to vote.

In the second round of the Assembly elections, which is only contested by parties with larger support, Macron's En Marche party won 43% of the vote and their allies the Democratic Movement won 6% of the vote. This translated into 60% of the Assembly seats, see the table below, so a substantial parliamentary majority.

However, only 42% of people voted, an historic low. Thus En Marche won just 7.8m votes, still less than Macron won in first round of the Presidential election. Macron and the DM together won 8.93m votes which was only 300,000 more than Macron won in the first round of the presidential election. It represents 18.76% of the 47.3m there were eligible to vote in the election.