Poverty and education levels paint the electoral map of France

PARIS (Reuters) – The regions where Emmanuel Macron has achieved his worst marks are those where a concentrated population whose purchasing power has been hardest hit by rising inflation, shows an analysis of the results on the first tour of the presidential election held. via Reuters.

Marine Le Pen’s anti-system discourse echoes a particular resonance in regions with large numbers of non-graduates, where life expectancy is lower and crime rates are higher.

The picture of the vote in the first round suggests that the outgoing president will have the greatest difficulty in convincing beyond the urban and educated middle class that comprises his electoral base.

If Emmanuel Macron leads Marine Le Pen with 27.8% of the vote against 23.2% on Sunday, the results map shows the two are more divided in France.

In an attempt to determine the factors that matter most in the election result, Reuters used an algorithm called the “decisional tree fort” that makes it possible to rank 45 economic and demographic criteria according to their correlation with scores. obtained by the candidates of each department.

As with the 2017 presidential election, living standards and education played an important role in the French vote, while the question of purchasing power dominated the end of the election campaign.

Even if measures taken by the French government, such as freezing the price of electricity or reducing the price of petroleum at the pump, limited the rise in inflation compared to other European countries, the regions where the weakest concentrate population voted more. Marine Le Pen.

On average, 12.7% of the residents of the departments that put Emmanuel Macron ahead of Marine Le Pen live below the poverty line, while this rate has risen to 16% in the departments where the National Rally candidate leads. .

The outgoing president also achieved shorter scores in departments where the unemployment rate is higher and the standard of living is lower, indicating that the support measures taken by the government have not convinced those most in need. .

While official statistics show that the gross disposable income of the French has increased during the five -year term, the rise in inflation over the past six months, and fears that it will accelerate further, are fueling the opposite. feeling among many readers.

Marine Le Pen was the candidate most focused in his campaign on the issue of purchasing power, abandoning his usual themes of immigration and security, to a media space full of suggestions on these themes from his extreme right opponent Eric Zemmour.

This strategy bore fruit, despite moving at the end of the campaign on the part of popular voters in favor of Jean-Luc Mlenchon, and the RN candidate showed that he also intended to make this theme landmark in the second round.

The factor that best follows the contours of the Lepenist vote is life expectancy, which is often used as a barometer of economic and social well -being.

Women born in 2021 can expect to live an average of a year longer in the departments where Emmanuel Macron won than in those where Marine Le Pen defeated him, according to Reuters calculations.

At the same time, the life expectancy of the woman in the two departments where the National Rally candidate achieved her best marks-Aisne and Pas-de-Calais-was two years below the national average.

It’s no coincidence that Emmanuel Macron took the direction of Hauts-de-France on Monday, to try out his first campaign trip between the two rounds to convince residents of Denain, Carvin or Lens that he could improve their state of life.

Other factors related to the vote in favor of Marine Le Pen include the number of violent robberies and the low rate of graduates from higher education.

Thus, almost 30% of the residents of Aisne, where the far -right candidate got 39% of the votes cast in the first round, did not qualify, against 21% in the country.

The equation for the second phase includes increased uncertainty, especially the attitude of Jean-Luc Mlenchon’s readers, also from the working classes that are moving in his favor in the Paris region.

The rebellious candidate, who also took over the body of the social question, after starting the campaign because it focused on ecology, got almost 50% of the votes in Seine-Saint-Denis, the poorest department in country, with an immigrant. population in excess of 30% seems unlikely to support Marine Le Pen, but Emmanuel Macron is no more if he can’t make the election anything but a “dam” against the superior right.

Because other characteristics of Seine -Saint -Denis – such as typical departments with large poor populations – are record abstention rates, the highest in the country after Corsica.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, French version Tangi Salan)

by Leigh Thomas

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