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Opinion
Lionel Laurent

Macron’s Political Earthquake Keeps On Rumbling

France’s president proves he was no accident of history, but faces a much tougher runoff against the far-right.

It’s a re-run of their 2017 contest.

It’s a re-run of their 2017 contest.

Photographer: Jonathan Alpeyrie/Bloomberg

Emmanuel Macron is within striking distance of a historic re-election as French president after clinching a first-round lead against his far-right nemesis Marine Le Pen. Investors should be relieved, but not complacent. Round two on April 24 will be a close-run affair.

Early results show France’s establishment parties in tatters. An increasingly fragmented electorate is looking for new answers after Covid-19 and the Ukraine war expanded the reach of the state’s protective umbrella without banishing fears over higher inflation.