DB Explains Why Le Pen’s Performance Was “Less Impressive Than The Numbers Suggest”

Earlier this evening, we said two things about the outcome of the French election.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Actually, we said a lot more than two things. But two of the critical quotes are as follows:

  1. Do note it was a foregone conclusion that Le Pen would put up a better showing than her father did when he advanced to the runoff. But Marine was expecting a much better result than this. By all accounts, her camp was anticipating a showing in the 40s.
  2. What Barclays has called “the politics of rage” certainly isn’t dead. The very fact that Le Pen’s support was a strong as it was and the very fact that Macron himself is now President-elect says something about the extent to which the political landscape in Europe has shifted beneath the feet of the establishment.

Well, Deutsche Bank is out with their first read on things and sure enough, the bank echoes and underscores both of those two points.

Although we don’t want to beat a dead horse in terms of post-election analysis, this is obviously a very, very big deal with implications that reach far beyond France and well beyond the EU.

Read below as DB explains why Le Pen’s performance wasn’t quite what it seemed and also see their quick take on the read-through for Brexit.

Via Deutsche Bank

Emmanuel Macron won the second round of the presidential election capturing ~65% of the expressed votes against Le Pen. The turnout was satisfactory at ~75% but lower than previous presidential elections. Also, ~10% of the votes were blank, two to three times the usual share. Ultimately, far-left voters supported Macron more than expected by the latest polls.


This is a disappointing result for the National Front. In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen against centre-right candidate Chirac had gathered 18% of the expressed votes in the second round. In 2017, Marine Le Pen gathered 35%. The National Front rise is less impressive than these figures suggest. In 2002, it captured 14% of the electorate once accounting for abstention, and ~23% in 2017.


Macron will now have to name a Prime Minister with parliamentary experience, able to lead the lower-house election campaign and then manage the daily business of parliamentary politics. He mentioned that his PM name and government will be revealed after the inauguration that needs to happen by 14 May.

Recent electoral results and polls suggest that Macron’s party could be the main party in the French lower house post 11-18 June elections. An outright majority for his new party “En Marche!” appears numerically possible. If not, a majority could be reached with the participation of moderate centre-left and/or centreright MPs who have already expressed their preparedness to govern with Macron in such a situation. In the coming weeks, Macron will be hoping to convince them to directly join his party, while they may be very reluctant to take the risk.

In terms of reform timetables, Macron aims to pass labour market reforms quickly over the Summer 2017, take more time to pass unemployment reforms at the end of 2017 and take a longer perspective on simplifying the retirement system.

Regarding Brexit and the EU, Macron has run on a pro-EU platform and has repeatedly explained his ambition to make France an equal partner to Germany. He will most likely prioritise the relationship with Germany over Brexit. A victory by Macron at the presidential election is unlikely to lead to easier negotiations for the UK.

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