French Presidential Election – Analysis of Emmanuel Macron’s reelection

by Samuel Quineau

 

Emmanuel Macron (LREM, La République en marche) won a second term as President of the French Republic, defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (RN, Rassemblement national) by 58,5% of the vote over 41,5% for Marine Le Pen.


A victory on a razor’s edge…

Emmanuel Macron becomes the first French President to be re-elected while holding the executive power. Macron’s victory offers continuity and political stability for France. If his victory appears quite large, it is however much narrower than in 2017, when the score was 66,1% to 33,9%. In 5 years, Emmanuel Macron’s margin against Marine Le Pen has been reduced by 8%. Sunday’s results marked the far-right’s best score ever in a French presidential election. 

It is important to note that the turnout rate was only 72%, the lowest in a second round of a presidential election under the 5th Republic. This number has been steadily decreasing in the last years and this phenomenon is particularly strong among young voters, as more than 40% of the 18-24 chose not to vote on Sunday.

Shortly after the results were disclosed, Emmanuel Macron made a speech in front of the Eiffel Tower. He called for a “more independent France and a stronger Europe” and acknowledged “the anger that has been expressed” as many voters did not root for him but wanted to prevent Marine le Pen from winning over the presidency.

This result reaffirms Emmanuel Macron’s role as one of the most important European political leaders, as France took over the Presidency of the European Union at the beginning of this semester. Many European leaders such as Ursula von der Leyen Commission, Charles Michel and Olaf Scholz expressed their relief after Macron’s victory.


The upcoming legislative elections: a third round?

The Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said he would resign before the legislative elections to make way for a new Government. Yet, it is unclear who may succeed him. Clement Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, said that Macron wants to see a woman as a Prime Minister. According to many media, it could be Elisabeth Borne, the current Minister of Labor, although surveys are not really supporting this (2% of respondents would want her to see as Prime Minister). Other names, like Christine Lagarde’s, former IMF President and current President of the European Central Bank, are also circulating.

Despite Macron’s victory, the electoral battle is not over yet, as parliamentary elections will be held in June. After her defeat, Marine Le Pen wants to secure a lot of MPs to constitute a strong counter power to Macron’s majority. Her party said it will have RN candidates “everywhere”.

The “third man” of the first round of the presidential election, the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI – La France Insoumise), has already asked the French voters to elect him as Prime Minister. Many left-wing forces called for unity (LFI, ecologists, socialists) to secure as many MPs as possible. Their goal is to have a majority at the National Assembly to impeach whoever Emmanuel Macron nominated as Prime Minister to form a government. In France, when the legislative and executive branches are not from the same political party, there is a “cohabitation”. The National Assembly would not vote for the laws Emmanuel Macron wants to adopt, forcing him to choose a Prime Minister from the Assemblée nationale’s majority.

However, since the presidential term was shortened from 7 to 5 years in 2000, both the presidential and legislative elections occur almost simultaneously, and no President has since then failed to secure a majority at the National Assembly.


What is Emmanuel Macron’s program on health policy issues?

As the French health system faces many pressing issues, Emmanuel Macron made some promises to tackle these challenges, among them:

Invest massively for the public hospitals – The French public hospitals face many RH difficulties, such as hard-working conditions, shortage in staff and low wages. Emmanuel Macron promised, during his debate against Marine Le Pen, to set up a massive investment plan to address this situation. During his previous term, he already promised €19 bn for public hospitals.

Launch a conference with stakeholders – He wants to meet patients, professionals, and local representatives to build local and national solutions around one objective: ensuring access to care for all.

Create a “health referent” to make up for the absence of a general practitioner – These “health referents” could renew simple prescriptions and provide a response to patients without access to a general practitioner.

Systematize "third-party payment" – In France, the “third party payment” allows patients not to have to pay the part of a medical consultation that the “national health insurance” reimburses. The President is considering entrusting the French Health Insurance, the Cnam (Caisse nationale d’Assurance maladie) with the role of financial intermediation. In other words, the National Health Insurance would pay the doctors and then recover the funds from the complementary health insurance companies.

Increase staff in long-term care homes – Emmanuel Macron announced during the debate in between the two rounds that he would like to recruit 50,000 staff in long-term care homes.

In terms of public health, the President wants to strengthen prevention of diseases. He envisages health check-ups at 25, 45 and 60 years old for each citizen. In addition to the better medical supervision in institutions, Emmanuel Macron also intends to set up a home care service with a single point of contact for the caregiver elderly people. The "Prime Adapt", a special aid for elderly to adapt their homes to aging, could be created according to resources. Up to 70% of the costs of adaptation work (bathroom, stairs, etc.) could then be covered by the State.

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