Established in 1974
185,800 clients worldwide
Over 15,000 markets

Macron — A (last) chance for Europe

The polling stations have closed and the votes have been counted — Emmanuel Macron will (unsurprisingly) be France’s next president. 

bg_paris_1193295

But although he appears to have won with a clear majority of 66% to 34% over right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, the figures are somewhat misleading. Only 20.7 million of France’s 47.5 million eligible voters (or 43.5%) voted for Macron. And a large majority of these votes were cast against Le Pen rather than for him. Some 16 million voters chose either to abstain or spoil their papers. And Le Pen’s 10.7 million votes equate to her having almost a quarter of all eligible French voters on her side. For a right-wing politician to make such large gains through a policy of scaremongering is both significant and alarming.

Parliamentary elections in June will be key

Macron has a mammoth task ahead of him. The most important and defining moment of his presidency will come in June with the French parliamentary elections. This is when we will see whether the French people will give their newly elected president the power he needs to implement his reforms, or leave him a lame duck. My hopes lie with the first scenario as it could be Europe’s last chance. We need a strong France as a counterweight to a strong Germany to stop the rise of populism on both the left and right. Macron’s socially liberal politics captures the spirit of our time. On the one hand, companies should not be overregulated, as the entrepreneurial spirit needs its freedom to prosper. On the other hand, we have to ensure that the weaker of our society also benefit of this prosperity in order to avoid further radicalisation— we need to close the gap between rich and poor.

European anthem as a sign of change

This balancing act will require plenty of political will and support from his citizens. Typically, the European anthem was played as Macron arrived to speak to his supporters at the Louvre yesterday evening — a clear sign to all Europeans that now is the time for change. 

The information on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG Bank S.A. accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it and as such is considered to be a marketing communication.