France held a presidential election on 10 and 24 April 2022
France’s 12th presidential election was held on 10 and 24 April 2022. As no candidate won a majority in the first round, a run-off was held, in which Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen and was re-elected as President of France.
Macron, from La République En Marche! (LREM), had defeated Le Pen, leader of the National Rally, once already in the 2017 presidential election. His first term lasts until 13 May 2022, and he announced on 3 March 2022 that he would run for re-election. He is the first President of France to have won a re-election bid since Jacques Chirac in 2002.
In the first round, Macron took the lead with 27.9% of votes, followed by Le Pen with 23.2%, Jean-Luc Mélenchon of La France Insoumise with 22%, and Éric Zemmour of Reconquête with 7.1%. Valérie Pécresse of The Republicans took 4.8% of the vote, and Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris and Socialist Party candidate, 1.8%. Both obtained the worst result in the history of their party.
In the second round, Macron beat Le Pen with 58.5% of the vote to her 41.5%, a narrower margin than in the 2017 election. Turnout was 71.9%, the lowest in a presidential election run-off since 1969. On 20 April, the only election debate of the campaign (moderated by Léa Salamé and Gilles Bouleau) to feature both major candidates was held. Polls conducted after the debate to ascertain which candidate performed best, showed that 59% of viewers thought that Macron had performed better, compared to 39% for Le Pen. Le Pen conceded defeat after exit projections became available.
The presidential election is to be followed by the legislative election that will be held on 12 June, with potential runoffs on 19 June, to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament.