Election Night Hot Take
I am slightly more confident now than I was a few hours ago that Marine Le Pen will not be the next president of France. True, she improved her first-round score compared with 2017, but if one adds her 23.3% to Zemmour’s 7, she is still below the 33-35% where some polls had placed her before Zemmour joined the race. And since Les Républicains got only 5, compared with 20* in 2017, she might have been expected to profit more handsomely from their collapse.
Mélenchon also improved his position slightly compared to 2017, but this reflected the choice of left-wing voters not in his camp to “voter utile” by abandoning the PS, the Greens, and even the Communists. Hidalgo’s 2.1% was even more embarrassing than Pécresse’s 5; Jadot’s 4.4, ditto; and Roussel, who was briefly at 4.5, fell to 2.5.
The race will now be decided by the results of the debate. Both candidates must conceal their worst traits: Macron must check his arrogance, and Le Pen must continue to hide her contemptuous scowl behind her bright smile. She will claim all of Zemmour’s voters and some of Pécresse’s. Mélenchon’s supporters must decide whether their antipathy to Macron is greater than their detestation of Le Pen.
Mélenchon just said: “Nous savons pour qui nous ne voterons jamais. … Vous ne devez jamais donner une voix à Mme Le Pen.” Good news for Macron.