Sunday, April 23, 2017

Exit Polls Show Macron and Le Pen Ahead

According to early results:

Macron 23.7%

Le Pen 21.7%

Fillon 19.5% 

Mélenchon 19.5%

Emmnuel Macron and Marine Le Pen are one and two in the first round of French presidential election. Fillon and Hamon have both conceded; Mélenchon has not. Reporters are already accepting the Macron-Le Pen May 7 runoff as a done deal.

Turnout was estimated to be just a few points lower than it was in 2012. So a big wave of voter disgust manifesting itself with blank ballots or by staying at home proved unfounded. What does appear to have happened is that Fillon's apparent comeback never made it to the polling station.

No surprise that Socialists are lining up behind Macron, but so is Fillon. Macron's candidacy and En Marche! itself is a ruse like the U.S. Tea Party -- a re-branding scheme meant to quickly remake a discredited ideology.

Early estimates are that Macron-Le Pen combined for 45% of the total vote. If Mélenchon is stuck at 19%, it is not looking good for his chances. Some of his supporters are vowing to sit out the second round. In that case I think Macron wins. Le Pen would need to capture most of Mélenchon's vote to have a chance in the second round.

All in all a dispiriting first round. 

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