Yesterday’s first round of the French parliamentary elections marked a new record level of abstentions, 51.3% - compared to 42.8% in 2012. Therefore the so-called "surge" of the Marche/Modem coalition must be viewed for what it really is: those abstaining were far more numerous than those who actually voted for the "Presidential majority".

Photo: Mutualité-Française

The most chaotic presidential election of the Fifth Republic has just resulted in the election of a new head of state. At the end of the first round, the winner of the second was already known. Millions of left-wing voters reluctantly voted for Macron to defeat Marine Le Pen.

After not making it past the first round of the French presidential elections, Jean Luc Melenchon unlike other losing candidates, decided not directly to support Emmanuel Macron in the second round. Instead, he launched a ballot vote amongst his supporters from the Rebellious France (La France insoumise) movement, to decide whether to cast a blank vote, abstain altogether from the elections or vote for Macron in the second round.

Since Thursday, students and youth in Paris, Rennes, Nantes, Toulouse and other cities across France have held rallies and marched through the city streets. The protests were against the right wing nationalist Marine Le Pen and the liberal Emmanuel Macron who are facing off in the in the second round of the presidential election.

The results of the first round of the presidential election open a new phase of the political crisis in France. As in April 2002, the second round will be between the right and the far right. But much has changed since then. The economic crisis of 2008 has taken place. The probable victory of Emmanuel Macron, in two weeks time, will not lead to the relative political stability that Chirac benefited from in the wake of his victory in May 2002.

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!

MARXIST.COM SUMMER BREAK

In Defence of Marxism, is taking a break from regular publication. We will resume daily updates again in September 2017.

upcoming events