Arun Kapil

Arun Kapil teaches politics and history in Paris.

From The Blog
21 June 2022

The one thing everyone can agree on is that the outcome of the second round of the French legislative elections was inédit, unprecedented. It was utterly unexpected, too. Emmanuel Macron had every reason to believe after his re-election on 24 April that the legislative ballot would conform to precedent, with the presidential alliance coasting to victory. Since the introduction of the five-year presidential term in 2002 and the alignment of the electoral calendars, the freshly elected head of state has been all but guaranteed a comfortable legislative majority. Parliamentary elections became an afterthought to the all-important presidential contest, reflected in the ever increasing abstention rate, which reached a historic 52.5 per cent in the first round this year on 12 June.

From The Blog
26 April 2022

There was general relief, in France and further afield, on Sunday, when Emmanuel Macron was projected to win the second round of the French presidential election. The polls in the final week of the campaign all showed him opening up a 10 to 14 point lead over Marine Le Pen – especially after last Wednesday’s debate, in which he was thought to have the upper hand – but worries had set in during the latter half of March among hard-headed analysts as well as inveterate hand-wringers.

Until​ recently, a rematch between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in April’s presidential election looked inevitable, with polls predicting a comfortable Macron victory, albeit narrower than in 2017, when he won 66 per cent of the vote. But then, last summer, a new candidate emerged, as it became clear that the right-wing writer and commentator Éric Zemmour had presidential...

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