French Leaving Cert Essay Topics 2012 Electoral Votes

The 2017 French presidential election was held on 23 April and 7 May 2017. As no candidate won a majority in the first round on 23 April, a run-off was held between the top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! and Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN), which Macron won by a decisive margin on 7 May. The presidential election was followed by legislative elections to elect members of the National Assembly on 11 and 18 June. Incumbent president François Hollande of the Socialist Party (PS) was eligible to run for a second term, but declared on 1 December 2016 that he would not seek reelection in light of low approval ratings, making him the first incumbent president of the Fifth Republic not to seek re-election.

François Fillon of The Republicans (LR), after winning the party's first open primary, and Marine Le Pen of the National Front led first-round opinion polls in November 2016 and mid-January 2017. Polls tightened considerably by late January, and after the publication of revelations that Fillon employed family members in possibly fictitious jobs in a series of politico-financial affairs that came to be colloquially known as "Penelopegate", Macron overtook Fillon to place consistently second in first-round polling. At the same time, Benoît Hamon won the Socialist primary, entering fourth place in the polls. After strong debate performances, Jean-Luc Mélenchon of la France Insoumise rose significantly in polls in late March, overtaking Hamon to place just below Fillon.

The first round was held under a state of emergency that was declared following the November 2015 Paris attacks.[1] Following the result of the first round, Macron and Le Pen continued to the 7 May runoff.[2] It was the first time since 2002 that a National Front candidate continued to the second round and the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic that the runoff did not include a nominee of the traditional left or right parties;[3] their combined share of the vote from eligible voters, at approximately 26%, was also a historic low.[4]

Estimations of the result of the second round on 7 May indicated that Macron had been elected by a decisive margin, and Le Pen immediately conceded defeat.[5] After the Interior Ministry published preliminary results, the official result of the second round was proclaimed by the Constitutional Council on 10 May. Macron took office on 14 May, becoming the youngest president in French history and youngest head of state since Napoleon, and named Édouard Philippe as Prime Minister on 15 May; the initial government was assembled on 17 May, and legislative elections on 11 and 18 June gave Macron a substantial majority.


The President of the French Republic is elected to a five-year term in a two-round election under Article 7 of the Constitution: if no candidate secures an absolute majority (including blank and void ballots) of votes in the first round, a second round is held two weeks later between the two candidates who received the most votes.[7] In 2017, the first and second rounds were held 23 April and 7 May.[8]

To be listed on the first-round ballot, candidates must secure 500 signatures (often referred to as parrainages) from national or local elected officials from at least 30 different departments or overseas collectivities, with no more than a tenth of these signatories from any single department.[9] The official signature collection period followed the publication of the Journal officiel on 25 February to 17 March.[10] The collection period had initially been scheduled to begin on 23 February, but a visit by Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to China on that date forced a delay.[11] French prefectures mailed sponsorship forms to the 42,000 elected officials eligible to give their signature to a candidate, which must then be delivered to the Constitutional Council for validation. Unlike in previous years, a list of validated signatures was posted on Tuesday and Thursday of every week on the Council's website; in the past, signatories were published only after the official candidate list had been verified after the end of the collection period. The end of the signature collection period also marked the deadline for the declaration of personal assets required of prospective candidates. The final list of candidates was proclaimed on 21 March.[10]

The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) ensured that all candidates receive equal time in broadcast media "under comparable programming conditions" from 19 March onward.[8] The CSA warned on 8 March that the amount of speaking time broadcasters had given Fillon and his supporters was "unusually high", even given the unusual circumstances surrounding his candidacy.[12] After the official start of the campaign on 10 April, the CSA strictly enforced equal time in broadcast media. Campaigning for the first round of the election ended at midnight on 21 April, two days before the vote. The Constitutional Council verified the results of the first round on 24–26 April and officially certified the vote tallies on 26 April, and the same procedure will be used for the second round. The new President of the French Republic will be proclaimed on 11 May and undergo their investiture ceremony on 14 May at the latest.[8]


On 18 March 2017, the Constitutional Council published the names of the 11 candidates who received 500 valid sponsorships, with the order of the list determined by drawing lots.[13]

Candidate name and age,[14]
political party
Political office(s)Campaign logoDetails
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (56)
Debout la France (DLF)
President of Debout la France
(since 2008)
Deputy for Essonne
(since 1997)
Mayor of Yerres
(since 1995)
A former member of the RPR, RPF, and UMP, Dupont-Aignan left the latter party on the eve of the 2007 presidential election due to disagreements with Nicolas Sarkozy. He subsequently founded the sovereignist political party Debout la République (DLR), which was later renamed Debout la France (DLF) in 2014. He previously stood as a candidate in the 2012 presidential election, in which he garnered 1.79% of the vote in the first round. Claiming the mantle of Gaullism, he sought to position himself between Le Pen and Fillon.[15] Five days after his elimination in the first round, he announced his support for Le Pen in the second round.[16]
Marine Le Pen (48)
National Front (FN)
President of the National Front
MEP for North-West France
(since 2004)
When Le Pen, a former lawyer, stood in the 2012 presidential election, she came in third with 17.90% of first-round votes. She rose within the ranks of the National Front (FN), founded and previously led by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, culminating in a bitter leadership struggle which she won in 2011. Her campaign program prioritized the national interests of France and an exit from the eurozone,[15] and emphasized her party's traditional concern about security and immigration, as well as socioeconomic issues and the sovereignty of the French state, on matters of currency, borders, the economy, and the rule of law.[17] Her campaign was punctuated by judicial inquiries into her party and personal associates.[15]
Emmanuel Macron (39)
En Marche! (EM)
President of En Marche!
Minister of the Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs
The youngest candidate in the race and a former economy minister who had never run for elected office, Macron described himself as "neither of the right nor the left". He was appointed deputy secretary-general of the Élysée in 2012 and became economy minister in 2014, lending his name to the "Macron law" to promote economic growth and opportunities. He founded the En Marche! movement in April 2016 before resigning from the cabinet on 30 August.[15] The most explicitly pro-European of the candidates, Macron intends to implement reforms to modernize the French economy.[17] Macron secured support across the political spectrum, but primarily among left-wing figures;[18] notable supporters include perennial centrist candidate François Bayrou, president of the Democratic Movement (MoDem),[19] and Minister of DefenceJean-Yves Le Drian.[20]
Benoît Hamon (49)
Socialist Party (PS)
Deputy for Yvelines
(2012 and since 2014)
Hamon, a left-wing critic of Hollande's government, was the surprise winner of the Socialist primary in January 2017, defeating former Prime MinisterManuel Valls. Hamon's primary victory was driven in part by his support for a universal basic income, which remained integral to his program. He negotiated the withdrawal and support of Yannick Jadot of Europe Ecology – The Greens (EELV) in February, becoming the joint candidate of both parties.[15] He also advocated for the legalization of cannabis and reforming the structure of government to a "Sixth Republic".[17] He endorsed Emmanuel Macron in the second round.[2]
Nathalie Arthaud (47)
Lutte Ouvrière (LO)
Spokesperson of Lutte Ouvrière
(since 2008)
Arthaud first ran for the presidency in the 2012 election under the LO banner, receiving 0.56% of votes in the first round. A professor of economics, she described the objective of her candidacy as being to, "make the workers' voice heard", hoping to "allow workers, the unemployed, and exploited to defend their interests, as opposed to [those who pocketed] millions and millions".[15] She claims that she is the only communist candidate, and wants to see borders disappear and overthrow capitalism.[17] She intended to cast a blank vote in the second round.[2]
Philippe Poutou (50)
New Anticapitalist Party (NPA)
Spokesperson of the New Anticapitalist Party
(since 2009)
A long-time radical left-wing activist, as well as a trade unionist and Ford mechanic in Blanquefort, Poutou led opposition to the shutdown of the local factory. He also ran in the 2012 presidential election, obtaining 1.15% of votes. He launched his political activities at Lutte Ouvrière before joining the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) which became the NPA in 2009.[15] With Marxist and anarchist roots, he crusades against capitalism and espouses radical-left ideas.[17] He offered no voting instructions to his supporters for the second round.[2]
Jacques Cheminade (75)
Solidarity and Progress (S&P)
President of Solidarity and Progress
(since 1996)
Cheminade founded Solidarity and Progress in 1996 and is the figurehead of the LaRouche movement in France. He proposes leaving NATO, the EU, the eurozone, and returning to the franc. He supports colonization of the Moon to facilitate exploration of Mars. He was a candidate twice before, in 1995 and 2012, collecting 0.28% and 0.25% of the vote, respectively, but failed to appear on the ballot in 1981, 1988, 2002, and 2007.[15] His position on the second round is unclear,[2] only specifying that he, personally, would not cast a vote for Le Pen while also denouncing the forces of "financial occupation".[21]
Jean Lassalle (61)
Deputy for the Pyrénées-Atlantiques
(since 2002)
Mayor of Lourdios-Ichère
(since 1977)
Lassalle, a former member of the Democratic Movement (MoDem) and associate of François Bayrou running under the banner of Resistons !, considered himself the "defender of rural territories and a humanist ecology". He became famous for a successful 39-day hunger strike protesting the movement of the Total factory from Accous to the Lacq basin 65 km (40 mi) away. In 2013, he walked 6,000 km (3,700 mi) on foot to "meet the French".[15] He opted to cast a blank vote in the second round.[22]
Jean-Luc Mélenchon (65)
La France Insoumise (FI)
MEP for South-West France
(since 2009)
Denouncing the "liberal drift" of the party, Mélenchon left the PS in 2008 to found the Left Party. He made a previous presidential run in 2012, coming in fourth with 11.10% of votes,[15] with the backing of the French Communist Party (PCF). A perennial critic of the Hollande government, he launched his 2017 bid without consulting the PCF, instead choosing to start his own movement, la France Insoumise (FI).[17] He later won the PCF's support by a narrow margin.[23] His program underlined left-wing and environmental principles,[15] including the establishment of a Sixth Republic, redistribution of wealth, renegotiating EU treaties, environmental planning, and protecting the independence of France, namely from the United States.[17] He ran an innovative campaign, gathering a large following on social media,[24] and holding simultaneous meetings in multiple cities via hologram.[25] He intended to consult with his movement before making any pronouncement on the second round.[2] After a few days, he stated that he would not vote for the FN, but never explicitly provided any further voting instructions.[26]
François Asselineau (59)
Popular Republican Union (UPR)
President of the UPR
(since 2007)
A sovereignist, Asselineau surprised political observers with his ability to secure the 500 sponsorships required to stand as a candidate. Formerly of the RPF and UMP, he founded the Popular Republican Union (UPR) in 2007 and has agitated for the French to exit from the EU.[15] Sometimes classified as a far-right Eurosceptic, he has denounced "American imperialism" and proposed leaving NATO.[17] He offered no endorsement in the second round.[2]
François Fillon (63)
The Republicans (LR)
Deputy for Paris
(since 2012)
Prime Minister
Fillon led a prolific political career starting from the early 1970s. The surprise winner of the primary of the right offered a liberal economic program ending the 35-hour workweek, dismissing 500,000 civil servants, abolishing the wealth tax (ISF), streamlining the labour code, and reforming the health insurance system. However, his campaign was hobbled in January 2017 following the publication of allegations of fictitious employment of family members, including his wife, collectively known as "Penelopegate". He initially said he would drop his bid if placed under formal investigation, but continued his candidacy after such investigations began on 15 March.[15] He endorsed Emmanuel Macron in the second round.[2]


A candidate must secure 500 signatures from elected officials in order to appear on the first-round ballot,[9] with the signature collection period ending on 17 March.[10] The table below lists sponsorships received by the Constitutional Council by candidate.[27]

Colour legend


Socialist Party (PS)[edit]

The 2017 presidential election was the first in the history of the Fifth Republic in which a sitting president did not seek a second term. On 1 December 2016, incumbent president François Hollande, acknowledging his low approval ratings, announced he would not seek a second term. His then-Prime MinisterManuel Valls declared on 5 December 2016 that he would run in the Socialist primary on 22 January 2017,[34] but he was defeated by Benoît Hamon in its second round on 29 January.[35]

Democratic Movement (MoDem)[edit]

The Germans fear that if the eurozone integrates further with a budget and banking union, but without prior economic changes from its members, Germany will end up bailing out everyone else forever. So Mr. Macron, vowing economic reform in France, is singing a song much more attuned to German ears.

But Mr. Macron, if elected, is also expected to push a harder negotiating line with Britain over its exit from the European Union — especially on the issue of financial services, about which he knows a great deal.

“With his background, we assume Macron sees much more clearly where the actual issues lie and will work to prevent Europe from facing a competitive disadvantage,” Ms. Schwarzer said.

But there is much to play for, not just in Britain’s election in June but especially in Germany’s in September. Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a strong challenge from the center-left Social Democrats, and the far-right Alternative for Germany is likely to win seats in the federal Parliament for the first time.

At the far right’s party conference this past weekend in Cologne, there were strong themes of nationalism and distaste for immigration despite the party’s internal disputes, in which Frauke Petry, one of its leaders, lost her effort to pull the party away from the hard right.

Her rivals brought delegates to their feet with speeches that pandered to identity loss. Whether or not the party succeeds, the issue seems likely to continue to resonate broadly.

Jörg Meuthen, a professor who leads the party with Ms. Petry, said that few Germans could be seen as one walked around a typical German town.

“This is our country,” he told cheering delegates. “The country of our grandparents and parents. We must take it back.”

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