May 8, 2017
As widely expected, Emmanuel Macron duly won the second round of the election with ease on Sunday. With a surprisingly large 66 percent of the vote, he more than comfortably beat rival Marine Le Pen and also outperformed the opinion polls (Friday’s polls showed a much smaller 24 percentage point lead). Financial markets are unlikely to show much reaction today although there could still be a modest residual relief bounce in the euro on the removal of what could have been a major potential threat to the currency.
Macron now faces the far from simple task of forming the new government. As an independent centrist, he could struggle to gain the support required from either of the establishment parties (the Socialists and the Republicans) to pass through his reform programme. With this in mind, he has already signalled his willingness to work with candidates from a broad political spectrum so long as they support his policy goals. Assembly elections for the 577 member lower chamber are due on June 11th and June 18th.