macron

So, again France dribbled well, seven months ahead of the World Cup Football and escaped the trap of fascism, is it so? Many persons who are anxious of worldwideweb of fascism and its forward march were seen to be relieved and taking breath of respite. But there are, alas, many buts and we must visit some.

A point which might not be very important, but to be noted at least

If we see the results of the top five vote garnering candidates of 2017 presidential election round-1 vis-à-vis those of 2022 presidential election round-1 we shall see

Table – 1: Some Scores of Presidential Election 2017 & 2022, France

20172022
Macron86,56,34624.01Macron97,83,05827.85
Le Pen76,78,49121.30Le Pen81,33,82823.15
Fillion72,12,99520.01Mélenchon77,12,52021.95
Mélenchon70,59,95119.58Zemmour24,85,2267.07
Hamon22,91,2886.36Pécresse16,79,0014.78

Now, the third one of the 2017 was Fillion of the Republicans, this time their candidate was Pécresse whose votes and vote % went down. The fifth one of 2017 was Hamon of Socialist Party, once who governed France, this time their votes and vote% went down to tenth position. Mélenchon of LFI increased. But last time the communist party there, PCF, did not contest the election and decided to support him, Mélenchon. This time PCF put up a candidate, who got into the eighth position, got 2.28% of votes, numerically more than 800,000.

Now, if, please do not mind this “if” — if PCF this time pulled its support towards Mélenchon, he could be the second highest scoring candidate surpassing what Mme Le Pen got in round 1, and the final round of presidential election could have been between Mélenchon and Macron, between La France Insoumise and La République En Marche! That could perhaps have been more spectacular at least an academic exercise.

It would be interesting to see how the PCF looks back at it.

Some dangers

In the second round the contest became more intense than last time:

Table 2: Round-2 French Presidential Election 2017 & 2022

Candidate20172022
Macron207,43,12866.1187,79,64158.54
Le Pen106,38,47533.9132,97,76041.46

The openly fascist party increased its votes share from 33.9% to 41.5% (approx) a 7.6% increase. But that is only a superficial figure.

Luckily the market research agency IPSOS does some work which help students of sociology and other interested persons. From their two works on “sociologie des electorats” we can get some comparative insights.

Table 3: Work status and voting % French Presidential Election 2017 & 2022

TiersMacron 17Le Pen 17Macron 22Le Pen 22
Executives82187723
Intermediate67335941
Employee54464357
Worker44563367
Retired74266832

For IPSOS, worker or Ouvrier is a blue-collar unless otherwise stated. The blue-collar workforce, in the final round, had tilted for Le Pen in 2017 and their tilt increased further in 2022. And now, among ‘employees’ too, the majority tilted towards Le Pen.

We may see from another side, the absolute monetary side too.

Table 4: Monthly income and voting % French Presidential Election 2017 & 2022

Monthly incomeMacron 17Le Pen 17Macron 22Le Pen 22
less than 1200 €55454456
1200-2000 €59415347
2000-3000 €64365644
more than 3000 €75256535

Lesser the income more the tilt to far-rightist Le pen than rightist Macron.

Len Pen voters like last time were not “more religious” at all than Macron voters, rather the reverse came out in the survey.

There are many other interesting figures in the IPSOS surveys, but this time they added one feature: Selon La Satisfaction À L’égard De Sa Vie – according to satisfaction as regards their life. Among those who are “Insatisfait”, unsatisfied, 79% of such voters chose the fascists while voting for the second round, though only 63% of them went to cast votes and the rest abstained.

The electorate had two right wingers and the more unsatisfied shifted more towards fascists!

Do we have anything to learn from the French election results? Well, election results do not express much, but they show things like what people might like to do when there are no movements of classes and strata, when someone is trying to use the ballot to do or undo something in absence of any other way-out.

For readers who would like to consult those Ipsos documents, they can be had of from
https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/files-fr-fr/doc_associe/ipsos_sopra_steria_sociologie_des_electorats_7_mai_20h15_0.pdf

and

https://www.ipsos.com/sites/default/files/ct/news/documents/2022-04/Ipsos%20Sopra%20Steria_Sociologie%20des%20électorats%20et%20profil%20des%20abstentionnistes_24%20Avril%2020h.pdf

Sandeep Banerjee  is an activist who writes on political and socioeconomic issues and also on environmental issues. Some of his articles are published in Frontier Weekly. He lives in West Bengal, India.  Presently he is a research worker. He can be reached at sandeepbanerjee00@gmail.com


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