Sunday, April 23, 2017

French Elections: Surprise, There's No Surprise!

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen

The counts and projections show that independent, Emmanuel Macron, and National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, were the top two vote getters in today's French election. They now advance to a runoff that will be held on May 7th.

Both Macron and Le Pen achieved percentage totals in the low 20s, with Macron probably beating Le Pen by a few points. The other two leading candidates, Francois Fillon, the candidate for the Republicans, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the candidate for the ironically named Unsubmissive France, came in third and fourth, with probable totals in the 19s.

The American and British media have been trying to gin up drama by claiming that the win by two "outsiders" is historic and unexpected - with the official candidates for the governing party and the major opposition party coming in fifth and third, respectively. But in truth, political parties in France are currently much more fluid than they are in, say, Britain or the United States, with "new" major parties popping up or changing their names every few years. But through it all, the electorate has remained roughly divided along a spectrum described as far-left, center-left, center-right and far-right.

Macron and Le Pen have been the favorites for months, with Fillon and Mélenchon given only small odds for any upset. For sure, in a race where the winners were separated from the losers by only a few percentage points, it could have gone another way. But the fact is, it didn't.

Le Pen is given almost no chance to win the runoff vote.

In mid-February, when I wrote this, Le Pen was briefly favored to win it. But since late February, chances for a Le Pen win have hovered at only around 35% in the prediction markets. And after today's results, they've been cut in half to 18%.

I assume this is due to the fact that Le Pen underperformed by a number of points - she, not Macron, was predicted to be the top vote getter in the first round. Also, one of the scenarios where she was thought to have had the best chance to win a runoff - Fillon leaping ahead of Macron for the second place slot - did not materialize.

The losing third-place candidate, as well as the two most recent past French presidents - François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy - denounced Le Pen and endorsed Macron. (The losing fourth-place candidate is a hard leftist, who, while he has declined to formally endorse Macron, would never support Le Pen.) And the entire mainstream French media, as well as much of the electorate, is focused on stopping Le Pen at any cost.

The theory that a terrorist attack would "help" Le Pen proved false. My view is that most French have pretty much accepted terrorism as the new normal. It won't be going away, so why not focus on the price of cheese?

Or vote for the nice young man in the well-tailored suit.

Or engage in some good old-fashioned collective virtue signaling about the evils of "racism." We don't do that, we're 21st century Europeans.

No doubt. And you're about to surrender to 11th century Middle-Easterners.


  1. Thanks for the overview and analysis. Let's pray that whatever the outcome Europe embraces its Christian roots, Christ's Kingship is restored and the Mohammadans are converted sooner, rather than later.

  2. "11th century Middle Easterners."

    Which may not be so far off as some think. Some sobering statistics from Scott McConnell at The American Conservative this week:

    Statistics about France’s demography thus tend to be murky, with the liberal establishment often suspected of lowballing Muslim or immigrant numbers. Nonetheless everyone knows there are parts of France that feel less and less French, and that these are growing.

    Last year Michel Gurfinkiel weighed conflicting estimates (between three and six million) of the number of French Muslims in the mid-1990s and contrasted them with present estimates. He concluded that the current figure is roughly six million, or 9 percent of the population, and that it is growing at a much faster rate than the French population as a whole. As early as 2010, fully 20 percent of French under 24 were described as Muslim. A more recent poll in the liberal French weekly L’Obs reported that more than a quarter of French youth described themselves as Muslim.

    Because the government does not publish statistics about race, some curious researchers have looked at the number of newborn babies screened for markers for sickle-cell anemia, a test given if both parents are of African, North African, or Sicilian origin. The figure has risen from 25 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2015. In the Greater Paris region it has risen from 54 percent to 73 percent. One understands why Houellebecq’s right-wing professor says he wants the inevitable civil war to come “as soon as possible.”

    The entire article is an essential read.

    1. Yes. No one knows precisely what the numbers are, but they are likely much higher than what you might read on, say, wikipedia.

      But 73%. Wow. And one doubts that many of them are Sicilian...

      Part of the debate has been framed, even by Le Pen, as one over stopping "refugees" or "migrants" or "immigration." That's true and important, as far as it goes, but even if you stopped all immigration right now, you would still be left with a demographic time bomb already exploding, as it were.

    2. And one doubts that many of them are Sicilian...

      My first thought as well.

      At any rate: As you say, even if you seal the borders tomorrow, there appears to be an astounding demographic shift built in already. If 2 in 5 births now are indeed to Muslim parents (one or both), and if birth rates for respective cohorts remain unchanged, well...

    3. You can track it by looking at the French presidents and candidates: from De Gaulle, Pompidou, Mitterand and Chirac (one spouse each, an average of three kids each) to Sarkozy, Chirac, Hollande and Macron/Le Pen (multiple divorces and "domestic partnerships" and relationships summing to less than one kid per).

      Macron's sterile relationship with a woman 25 years his senior sort of sums things up. I don't want to diss true love that blossomed in a high-school classroom, but still.

  3. Hell, the French people "surrendered" to living with a daily terrorist attack long ago. How many years has it been since they acquired entire neighborhoods where the police dare not go?

  4. It is not comprehensible as to why any people would choose annihilation of any kind over survival. I cannot comprehend it. Besides diabolical disorientation, the fruits of the French Revolution, I can only guess that the liberal's obsession with avoiding that racism tag, along with an attitude that European's don't deserve to live and breathe the air a non-European may need, is the only conclusion I can reach.
    I guess if the French are okay with loved ones being blown to bits or their precious French culture disappearing, does anyone else have a right to complain?
    The followers of Le Pen and the near followers of Le Pen need to get together and agree to vote as a bloc.
    We in the states hear ad nauseam how Trump could never win it. We are positive God intervened, because while he was brilliant about campaigning, actually, the Democrats, even for owning the media, academics, pollsters, etc., never saw it coming. If they had, the amount of fraud and corruption would have been staggering, and once she was entrenched in the White House, there would be no getting her out. They did not see it coming, which was a bit of a miracle, thanks be to God.
    Is God through with France? What does scripture say about "If my people will turn from their sin and call on Me..."
    France should pray. We will pray for France.
    Dear French brothers and sisters, please don't get this one wrong.

  5. I don't know. People choose stupid and destructive things all the time. And history is filled with nations and cultures self-destructing, or at least dithering until it's too late.

    I don't think the French (or at least most of them) see what the choice is yet. Or if they do see it, they are uncomfortable dealing with it now. They can always do it later, if need be. Or so they think.

    But when it's smack in front of their face, they probably won't really have a choice anymore. It will be too late.

    I apologize for being so negative, Kathleen. Forgive me. Maybe I'll feel better about it tomorrow.

  6. My God...the eldest daughter of the Church....

    " what have you come?"