The real story of the French election result was not the victory of centrist Emmanuel Macron, it was the fact that 11 million voted for Front National candidate Marine Le Pen and that 12 million opted to abstain. John Wight speaks this week to Dr Gilles Ivaldi, and we took to the streets of Paris to get the public's reaction.
The French election result confirms that France is a society that has never been more polarized and that the far right, not only in France but throughout Europe, still have reason to believe that better days lie ahead when it comes to its political fortunes.
As for Mr. Macron, it is hard to discern what he offers the French people other than more of the same free market neoliberal policies that succeeded in deepening the country's problems and polarization. Crucially, on the pressing issue of security and terrorism, which has claimed the lives of 230 French citizens over the past two years, Le Pen's position of locating it within the country's current immigration policy as part of the EU undoubtedly gained traction given the unprecedented vote she gained as the far right candidate.
So what does this result mean not just for France but Europe going forward? On this episode of Hard Facts, John is joined by French political scientist Gilles Ivaldi to examine this question and others when it comes to the future of politics in France.
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