In this excellent editorial from the Guardian, it reports that in the first round in the race for the Élysée, the postwar parties have been humbled and that France has voted for change.
The Guardian calls upon the French voters to complete their ‘revolution’ of French politics in round two of the voting. It brilliantly summarizes the choices as follows:
France faces an absolutely straight choice. The contest on 7 May is a contest between openness and bigotry, internationalism and nationalism, optimism and hatred, reaction and reform, hope and fear.
Whilst I agree with the Guardian, that French voters must rally to the support of Macron in the run-off, I am deeply troubled by Macron.
I heard his speech last night and felt that it was full of platitudes and light on policy. Macron is a lightweight, with no political support in parliament. Listening to the BBC’s excellent commentary last night, I was alarmed when conservative parliamentarians calling for a round three victory (the parlientary elections in June). It is not clear how Macron will win seats in parliament, especially when he wants 50% being newcomers to politics.
I fear that whoever wins, the next twelve months will be full of uncertainty because both leading candidates have no power-base in the parliament. It looks like each major policy area will be a major cross part vote because there will be no established party lines. Whilst Macron has the sponsorship of big business and is the most likely next President of France, it is questionable whether he has the leadership and political skills to lead effectively. Most importantly, Macron dreams of a federal Europe and is likely to want to take a hard negotiating line with Brexit.