Macron attracts young and old, the richest and best educated


The vote in France is not at all homogeneous nor does it respond to the old right-left scheme. The presidential elections on Sunday have confirmed a very particular sociology in political preferences. In general, Emmanuel Macron attracts the vote of the youngest and the oldest, of people with more income and better education. Marine Le Pen is strong among the working classes, especially in rural areas, and with a lower academic level.

A survey by the Ipsos-Sopra Steria institute for public broadcasting, based on the exit poll, draws a complex country. The trends that have been visible for years and that affect not only France but other European countries and the United States have been confirmed. There are similarities between the Brexit, Trump and Le Pen phenomena.

There are similarities between the Brexit, Trump and Le Pen phenomena

Macron is successful with voters between the ages of 18 and 24. 61% of the people in this age group who turned out to vote gave him their support to continue in the Elysee. Among those between 60 and 69 years old, 59% cast the ballot in favor of the current head of state. Those over 70 are even more faithful to Macron: 71% voted for him.

The sociologist Jérôme Fourquet, in an interview published this Monday by The Figaro, recalls that “the old left and the old right have disappeared”, with the emergence of a new political landscape of which Macron is its maximum incarnation in France. According to Fourquet, the re-elected president has managed to make “a real takeover bid for older people.”

The elderly seek the security of those who are already in power and are in favor of reforming the pension system so that it survives

The massive preference of the elderly sector for Macron is explained by several reasons. There is a legitimist factor, a reflection of security, of voting for whoever is in power so as not to run additional risks in times of serious crises such as the war in Ukraine. In the specific case of Macron there is also his pension reform, a controversial project among those of working age but appreciated by the elderly. They are well aware that reforming the system is essential to avoid bankruptcy, which would affect them catastrophically in their last years of life.

Educational level plays a significant role in electoral choice. 74% of those who have completed more than three years of higher education voted for Macron. Among Le Pen voters, only 26 had that level of education.

The upper middle classes are a huge vote pool for Macron

Income and position on the labor scale is also decisive. The upper middle classes are a great reserve of votes for Macron, while Le Pen relies on the strata that feel less favored. 77% of the people who occupy positions in the management staff of the companies leaned towards the current president. So did 59% of those working in intermediate positions. Only 33% of the workers offered their support to Macron. 65% of Macron’s voters live in households with incomes above 3,000 euros net per month. The situation is reversed for Le Pen. 56% of those who earn less than 1,250 euros a month voted for her.

Life satisfaction determines the willingness or not to participate. Those who feel unhappiest are also those who vote the least. Abstention among them was 37%.

Among the abstentionists there are many dissatisfied people and young leftists

Young people abound among the abstentionists, especially those on the left. 41% of people between 18 and 24 years old did not go to vote. On the contrary, only 16% of retirees decided not to participate in the elections.

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