The French Election Decoded For Americans

Despite what many pundits are saying, France is not sliding into right-wing extremism.

Joshua Edward
6 min readMay 2, 2022


Photo by julien Tromeur on Unsplash

The French presidential election gained a lot of media attention in the English-speaking world, particularly in America, where many journalists penned dozens of hyped-up articles about how nearly half of the population in France supported an extreme-right candidate.

Many pundits have suggested that France is headed in the direction of the USA, which has been making a hard right turn over the past eight years.

This isn’t even close to true, however, since France is very far away from becoming a right-wing fascist state, and is nothing like the United States.

Sure, the left in France has become fragmented, and the right is perhaps more relevant than it was previously. However, this is not an indicator of some ominous trend leading toward a fascist French state. In fact, this recent election shows just how unlikely a right-wing takeover of France actually is.

Allow me to explain.

France hates fascists

Emmanuel Macron, a centrist, has been re-elected as the president of France, and not the far-right Marine Le Pen. In fact, Macron is the first sitting French president to be reelected in 20 years, which makes his victory impressive, considering how unpopular he actually is.

Macron has been called a fascist dictator by many French citizens who feel that his rather innocuous actions to enhance his own power, unilaterally lockdown citizens during the pandemic, order a tax increase on gasoline, and force an increase in the retirement age, were all dictatorial in nature.

“We have a president in France who presides over the Republic, who controls the government, who controls parliament, who controls the Constitutional Court. It makes a super president, like Jupiter, as we call Macron.”

— Christophe Chabrot, senior lecturer in public law at the Lumiere University.

Despite this, the final election results gave the centrist Emmanual Macron an impressive 58.6% of the vote over the nationalist-populist Marine Le Pen, who received just 41.4%.



Joshua Edward