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‘France has chosen stability but social unrest a real risk in 2024’

Political analyst Jean Viard says there are always protests two years after every election - and Mr Macron will have to work hard to limit this

Emmanuel Macron ‘has the capacity to re-orientate France and Europe’ Pic: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

France has stared into the abyss and chosen stability, French political analyst Jean Viard told The Connexion shortly after the presidential election result was announced.

"It was a direct choice between a radical change or staying on course albeit with some minor changes." 

Emmanuel Macron won his second term as president of France with 58.2% of the votes, according to the first poll results, becoming the first president to serve more than one term since Jacques Chirac, who served two terms from 1995 to 2007.

Read more: French election live first results: Macron 58.2%, Le Pen 41.8%

Mr Viard points out that when Mr Macron became president in 2017 his programme was untried - no-one really knew anything about him. After five years however, he has re-positioned his programme with more focus, for example, on ecology.

"He benefited from 1-2 million people who perhaps wouldn't have voted at all, but who voted for him in order to prevent Le Pen from winning. 

“But two years after every election there is a social movement, so unless he can do enough - especially when it comes to the ecology - to satisfy urban immigrants and younger voters, in 2024 he will have a difficult time on his hands."

Mr Viard says Mr Macron needs to unite people, deal with the cost of living crisis and somehow keep both the extreme right and left at bay.

"But I predict he will get the MPs he needs in the parliamentary elections in June. People will say, 'Well, since he's elected, let's give him a chance to do something and they'll vote LREM. And this time he has the support of all the mayors of big cities, and he didn't have that last time, so I think whatever Le Pen says, he'll have a massive parliamentary majority."

He said the result is a fantastic win for Mr Macron and that he now has a chance to be a great president.

"His intelligence, his quick comprehension, annoys people because they aren't as fast as him, but he has the capacity to re-orientate France and Europe. 

"We will have to restructure our approach to European security. We had an idea that the free market would spread democracy but now we see it's not true and we will have to tackle that.

“He will also have to make us independent when it comes to food and fuel. De Gaulle wanted to achieve it, but now with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the pandemic (which isn't over), it is an absolute necessity. That's the direction we have to take."

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