French election results: The case for saying Marine Le Pen actually came third

More people abstained from voting than in the last three presidential elections 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 08 May 2017 13:06
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French Presidential election night: Round-up

Marine Le Pen may have claimed a “historic, massive result” for Front National in her concession speech as Emmanuel Macron won France’s presidency, but voting figures show she could have come third in this two-person race if abstentions had been taken into account.

Mr Macron won the French election with 66.1 per cent of the vote against Ms Le Pen’s 33.9 per cent, France’s interior ministry reports, making the 39-year-old the country’s youngest head of state since Napoleon.

Despite the heated race between the two candidates, voter turnout in the election was down sharply on previous years, with only 66 per cent of people casting their vote.

Mr Macron earned over 20.8 million votes in the election, while Ms Le Pen gained a record 10.6 million votes for Front National.

But while France had 47.5 million registered voters, a near-record 25 per cent abstained from casting their ballot in this year’s election. A further 8.6 per cent of people who did vote spoiled their ballot or left it blank.

The number of people who abstained from voting totalled 12.1 million, already outnumbering the amount of people who chose to vote for Ms Le Pen.

This, coupled with the amount of blank and spoiled ballots - numbering more than four million - would have comfortably put the Front National candidate in third place.

Mr Macron said after his win that a new page is being turned in French history, stating: “I want it to be a page of hope and renewed trust”.

He added that he would “guarantee the unity of the nation and... defend and protect Europe,” the BBC reported.

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