Sunday, April 23, 2017

France Has Voted

Exit polling of the first round of the French presidential election is out. The Los Angeles Times reports as follows:
Early estimates, based on results at several hundred representative polling stations, showed Macron leading at 23.8%, followed by Le Pen at 21.6%. The final count is expected to be close to that early calculation.
Other media outlets report essentially the same findings. Le Pen is the right-wing nationalist/populist candidate, Macron ran as an independent. The two long-time major parties in France, representing the mainstream left and right, did poorly and will have no one in the run-off which happens on May 7.

The major speculation between now and 7 May will be this: to whom will the roughly 55% who voted for neither frontrunner give their second-choice ballot? Historically, they have gravitated back toward the middle, which if it happens again this year will favor Macron.

On the other hand, quite a few have indicated they will not act in the time-honored way, but will either vote Le Pen or not vote at all in round 2. We'll know in two weeks.