In the last of our essays, we discuss the unexpected outcome of the legislative elections and look back on the electoral cycle as a whole. What does French politics look like after a series of fractious campaigns? And do the results offer any hope for the future?
After the Fall of France in 1940, historian Marc Bloch famously spoke of France’s “strange defeat” by Germany. Emmanuel Macron’s victory on April 24 might just as appropriately be called a “strange victory”.
The upcoming French presidential election presents something of a paradox. On the one hand, the outcome seems a foregone conclusion with Macron on course for re-election. But while such an overwhelming electoral narrative could easily be interpreted as a mere continuation of the status quo, nothing could be further from the truth.