By Luke Lattanzi
French President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected for a second term Sunday, defeating right-wing challenger Marine Le Pen.
Macron’s re-election designates him as the only French president in 20 years to win a second term. Voter turnout was also the lowest in decades, at around 72%, and only two percent lower than the 2017 election, when Macron beat Le Pen 66% to 34%, Axios reported.
Le Pen has since conceded defeat, but said the results indicated that “winds of change afoot,” and that she would continue to “stand up for the French people,” and against Macron, whose policies she said would “destroy France,” Axios noted.
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Le Pen has attempted to rebrand herself and her party in recent years, Axios noted, but Macron insisted that her policies would divide France and make it a more hostile country toward minorities. He cited Le Pen’s plan to ban headscarves for Muslim women, stating that it could “create a civil war” during a Wednesday presidential debate. Macron also hammered Le Pen over her supposed ties to Russia.
Macron’s re-election comes amid grim approval ratings. Morning Consult recorded Macron’s approval rating at just 36%, while 59% disapproved of his performance and five percent remained undecided. (RELATED: Macron’s Approval Rating Craters As France Braces For Another Round Of Protests)
Ronald Klain, the White House Chief of Staff for President Joe Biden, also observed Macron’s victory on Twitter, seeming to allude to a similar fate for right-wing candidates in the United States.
An interesting observation, just FYI.
President Macron appears to have secured a double-digit victory over LePen, at a time when his approval rating is 36%. Hmmm….https://t.co/N50u8He5gW
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) April 24, 2022
During the final days of campaigning, Macron described the election as a “referendum for or against a secular, united, indivisible Republic,” the Washington Post reported.