Cross-posted from Zerohedge
The confetti were still littering Paris from Macron’s celebration event on Sunday night when the 39-year-old Frenchman became the youngest president in French history, and already he met with one of the biggest challenges facing his new administration: a population, mostly among the local labor unions, that is unwilling to accept any if not all of the proposed economic reforms, and made this abundantly clear on Monday by clashing in violent protests across Paris with the local riot police.
That’s not the only reason why Emmanuel Macron may find the hangover of his bitter fight with Marine Le Pen unpleasant. As The Local writes, while Macron’s supporters were jumping for joy at the Louvre and commentators all over the world were hailing Emmanuel Macron’s victory as a triumph for liberal and centrist values, a majority of French people won’t have seen it as a cause for celebration. And although Macron should be relieved, there are a few major reasons why he should stay off the Champagne this week.
Below, according to the French publication, are eight reasons why Macron has little reason for celebration as he prepares to replace Francois Hollande as the next French president.
1. He didn’t win over the majority of French people
In the second round, 56 percent of French people either abstained, cast a blank vote or voted for Le Pen. He may have won a majority of the vote, but that doesn’t make for a majority of French people. Even in first round vote, when French people “vote with their hearts” and choose the candidate they really want, Macron didn’t do spectacularly.
On April 23rd some 8.6 million people voted for Macron, out of a possible 47 million, so in reality, you could argue that only a 6th of French voters would have Macron as their first choice. But even in the first round he benefited from tactical voting.
2. Many of those who voted for him aren’t really behind him
Of those who did vote for him, many said were doing so simply because he wasn’t Marine Le Pen. Some 33 percent of respondents in an Ipsos poll said they voted Macron because they were won over by the political renewal they saw in him. Sixteen percent put his policies top of the list, while 8 percent said his personality was the main reason they voted for him.
However the largest chunk, 43 percent, said they were mostly voting against Le Pen.
3. Le Pen is on the move too
The far right scored a record number of votes in the first round (7.6 million) and then went and did it again in the second round, topping the 10 million mark (10.6 million to be precise). The far right are on an upward trajectory and Le Pen is hinting at a new rebranding and strategy in her post-results speech. To be fair to Macron he recognized this fact in his victory speech and vowed do everything to stop people voting for extremes. Easier said than done in a divided France suffering from unemployment.
4. En Marche! will have a hard time getting a majority
Macron will face a host of difficulties trying to gain a majority of seats in the parliamentary elections with such a newly created party. Without that he’ll have a hard time passing the laws he wants. The Republicans are gearing up to try and gain a majority in parliament, in which case Macron would be reduced to not much more than a figurehead of France’s government.
Even if En Marche! ends up the leading party, finding another group to ally with to pass reforms will be a tough task. Macron’s MP’s will face four clear blocks of opposition from Jean-Luc Melenchon’s ‘Unbowed’ to whatever is left of the Socialist Party come June, to the Republicans and Marine Le Pen’s far right National Front.
That’s unprecedented in French politics. And on top of that, En Marche is under-financed and unlike the long established parties, it doesn’t have a long-standing coffer to dip into…