The Overlooked Takeaway From France’s First-Round Election Results

Electoral posters of French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France, April 26, 2017 (AP photo by Bob Edme).
Electoral posters of French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, Saint Jean de Luz, southwestern France, April 26, 2017 (AP photo by Bob Edme).
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PARIS—The widespread narrative surrounding the first-round results of France’s presidential election, which sent centrist independent Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen into the second-round runoff, goes something like this: Macron was the candidate most capable of barring Le Pen’s route to the presidency; his victory Sunday—and, in all likelihood, in the May 7 runoff—saved France from self-destruction and the European Union from a death blow. The populist tide has been turned back in Europe, and disaster averted. While there is nothing actually wrong in this narrative, it obscures as much as it reveals. A closer look at the […]

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