Keyword: 2017 presidential election

As it happened: live reporting of Emmanuel Macron's election as French president

The next president of France: Emmanuel Macron. © Reuters The next president of France: Emmanuel Macron. © Reuters

Independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron was on Sunday elected as France’s next president in a landslide victory over his rival, far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Final results gave Macron a 66.1% share of votes cast against 33.9% for Le Pen, a remarkable win for the 39-year-old political maverick but which was significantly boosted by an anti-Le Pen vote and tempered by the unusually high rate of abstentions and blank votes. Meanwhile, despite Le Pen’s defeat her score represents a historic surge in support for the far-right giving it its highest-ever result, as attention now turns to the crucial legislative elections in June to elect France's 577 MPs. Follow here the election night reactions and analyses as the events unfolded. Reporting by Michael Streeter and Graham Tearse.

Voting begins in final round of French presidential election

Polling in France takes place against background of hacking that is ‘clearly an attempt at democratic destabilisation’, claims Macron's team.

Vote or abstain? The 'moral dilemma' facing France's working-class districts

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Nearly 7,000 demonstrators marched in Paris on March 19th, 2017, against police violence. © Reuters Nearly 7,000 demonstrators marched in Paris on March 19th, 2017, against police violence. © Reuters

The residents of France's working-class multi-ethnic areas abstained from the first-round elections in greater numbers than the national average. Yet if they turn out in force in Sunday's second round vote between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen they could yet have a big say in the outcome. Though fed up with being told who to vote for, many of the inhabitants come from immigrant backgrounds and already experience everyday racism they fear will only get worse if the far-right win power. However, many are also afraid Macron's liberal economic policies will make their lives even harder. Carine Fouteau assesses the mood in areas that have been largely overlooked in the French presidential campaign.

France’s second presidential TV debate more surreal than enlightening

Contest marked the first in French TV history to feature every candidate in race, with all eleven getting to speak for about 18 minutes each. 

Is this French presidential election's unpredictability really so unusual?

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The five main candidates at a televised debate on TF1 on 20th March, 2017. © REUTERS The five main candidates at a televised debate on TF1 on 20th March, 2017. © REUTERS

The chatter about the French presidential election focuses on the likely high abstention rate, the record number of undecided voters, a possible last-minute surge by the Right and whether one can trust the polls. In particular, just under three weeks from the first round of voting, the talk is of how unpredictable and hard to forecast this 2017 election is. But, Hubert Huertas, argues it is no more unpredictable than usual. It is just that when it comes to the mood of voters, the rules have changed.

Paris commuter train tracks France's political divide

The further you travel on RER commuter tran from Paris , the greater the support for the anti-immigrant, anti-Europe Front National. 

Penelope Fillon faces formal investigation over 'fake jobs'

Presidential candidate François Fillon's wife is placed under investigation on suspicion of complicity in misappropriating public funds.

France's left-wing rebel Jean-Luc Mélenchon targets the disenchanted

Presidential candidate without a party overtakes official socialist candidate Benoît Hamon in polls and vows to make second round of election.

Socialist candidate Hamon struggles to make voice heard in atypical French election

Benoît Hamon on the evening he won the socialist primary election in January 2017. © Reuters Benoît Hamon on the evening he won the socialist primary election in January 2017. © Reuters

The official Socialist Party candidate in the French presidential election, Benoît Hamon, has been deserted by a section of the right wing of his own party who are opting to support the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron. The latest high-profile figures to support Macron are former Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a close ally of President François Hollande. Some in Hamon's team say the defections make it easier for their candidate to make his pitch on the left. But as Stéphane Alliès and Lénaïg Bredoux report, his campaign is so far pretty much inaudible.

Emmanuel Macron, money and his well-heeled backers

Emmanuel Macron outside 10 Downing Street where he met British PM Theresa May on February 21st, 2017. © Reuters Emmanuel Macron outside 10 Downing Street where he met British PM Theresa May on February 21st, 2017. © Reuters

The independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has no public money behind him to help his presidential campaign, as he has no established political party. Instead he is relying on donations both via the internet and from private gatherings with wealthy supporters. Opponents have raised questions over the former economy minister's links with the world of money and business, as well as the declarations of his personal assets which seem to suggest he spent large amounts of money while working as a merchant banker. Those rivals seek to paint him as a candidate for “global capitalism”. His entourage are irritated by such a depiction but, given his background in the world of finance, they have little choice but to accept it, report Mathieu Magnaudeix and Mathilde Mathieu.

François Fillon and his conflict of interest over insurance giant AXA

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François Fillon (left) and his friend Henri de Castries, former CEO of AXA. © DR François Fillon (left) and his friend Henri de Castries, former CEO of AXA. © DR

On February 6th the beleaguered right-wing presidential candidate was forced to admit that the major insurance firm AXA was a client of his consultancy firm 2F Conseil. Between 2012 and 2014 the group paid 200,000 euros to Fillon, who was a Member of Parliament at the time. The money was apparently paid to the former prime minister because he could “open doors in Brussels and Berlin” as new European Union insurance regulations were being implemented. Mediapart's Martine Orange argues that the affair is a clear example of conflict of interest.

Macron attracts the crowds – but where are his policies?

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The glitzy Emmanuel Macron rally at Lyon on Saturday February 4th, 2017. © Reuters The glitzy Emmanuel Macron rally at Lyon on Saturday February 4th, 2017. © Reuters

With just over 70 days to go before the first round of the French presidential election, former economy minister Emmanuel Macron continues to attract large crowds to his rallies and is doing well in the opinion polls. Yet what does the founder of the 'En Marche!' political movement - who keeps talking about “bringing people together” - actually plan to do if he is elected president? Mathieu Magnaudeix attended Macron's latest gathering but came away little the wiser.

Fillon campaign donations are paid to his own 'private party'

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Like many of leading French politicians, François Fillon has his own 'micro' party which is used to develop policy ideas and raise funds. But Mediapart can reveal that the micro party run by Fillon, whose candidacy for the French presidency has been rocked by the so-called “fake jobs” scandal involving his wife Penelope, is discreetly banking donations from members of the public supporting his official electoral campaign. “It's madness!” says one senior figure on the Right. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

How primaries cleared out old guard from French politics

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The list of victims of the recent presidential primary elections held by the Left and Right in France is remarkable. Two presidents, two prime ministers and a number of senior former ministers have been rejected after rebellious voters gave their verdicts. The primary process - which ended on Sunday with the unlikely election of Benoît Hamon as the official socialist candidate for the presidential contest – has proved something of an earthquake for the French political establishment, writes Hubert Huertas.

French progressives dare to hope as maverick Macron surges in polls

Former economy minister, who is pro-EU, socially liberal and a political outsider, is attracting people who fear rise of Marine Le Pen.