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Alexandre Afonso: Can the French “Enemy of the Republic” pull off a victory?

In the second and final round of the French elections this Sunday, the French will vote for who is going to become their next president. In an article for the Washington Post, Alexandre Afonso, assistant professor at Leiden University, has tried to project the votes in order to predict whether Marine Le Pen will be able to surpass Emmanuel Macron in this second round.

In this short piece, Afonso examines and compares the historical first and second round results. He analysed the votes of Jean-Marie Le Pen - Marine Le Pen's father - over the first and second round and found that he was not able to significantly increase his votes from the first round because he could not take votes away from the other candidates. Afonso at the same time notes that a first round victory for Macron does not necessarily win him the runoff. 

How will things look like this time around? He explains that Le Pen can expect to gain a substantial amount of voters from the conservative candidate Fillon. However, at the same time 50 percent of Mélenchon voters and 75 percent of Hamon voters will likely back Macron. Although this projection is not without fault, Afonso thinks that Le Pen has “little appeal for voters beyond her core base to successfully convince a majority of the French electorate.”

Further reading

The article can be found on the website of the Washington Post. It is based on an earlier blog for the London School of Economics, which was also picked up in Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, and Brazil. Alexandre Afonso also wrote a piece on his personal blog that looks further into the determinants of the Macron and Le Pen voters.