I see England, I see France: part deux

The results of looming elections in France and Britain are looking less in doubt than ever.


4.00am. The sampled count result is in: Macron 65.1%, Le Pen 34.9%.

3.15am. Actually, what will be published at 4am will be the sampled early count of actual voting, which proved pinpoint accurate last time. Exit polls are coming out now, and have Macron at around 63%.

2.15am. I’m giving this a bump in case anyone’s about who wishes to discuss tonight’s results from France. Exit polls will be out at 4am.


We’re now two days away from the run-off election for the French presidency, and a bit under five weeks away from the general election in Britain. A ban on polling in the final days of French election kicks in around about now, and they suggest that centrist contender Emmanuel Macron’s 60-40 lead over far right candidate Marine Le Pen as of a week ago has widened a little as the big day approaches. The polls were eye-wateringly consistent and accurate ahead of the first round election, and have remained so on the former count at least.

Britain had a dry run with yesterday’s council elections, the results of which poured cold water on any notion that the polls might be as badly astray this time as they were in 2015. In other words, they delivered unprecedented victories for the Conservatives and unmitigated disaster for Labour, as well as reinforcing the impression of a mass exodus from Ukip to the Tories. The poll aggregate below, conducted without any clever-dickery in relation to weighting and bias adjustment, records the Conservatives at 44.8% (compared with 36.9% in 2015), Labour at 28.3% (30.4%), the Liberal Democrats at 10.5% (7.9%) and Ukip at 6.8% (12.6%).

The first chart goes back to the last election, the second to the beginning of March. Among the things the latter makes clearer is that a spike to the Conservatives after the election was announced has in fact levelled off, and that some vaguely encouraging results for Labour a week or so ago haven’t been maintained.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

62 comments on “I see England, I see France: part deux”

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  1. Blair might have won 3 or 4 elections for Labour, but it is my prediction history will judge him harshly and hold him responsible for Labours time in the wilderness.

  2. @Kakuru 74.56% voted, of which 11.47% cast an informal or blank ballot. That means that 66% of registered voters cast a formal vote. Very very low for France.

    @Raaraa, CDU would definitely prefer the FDP, but the issue is (as you’ve noted) that it’s a seat short. Bringing in either Gruen or SPD doesn’t make a lot of sense, as you might as well go for the more minimalist coalition. (FDP have apparently already said they won’t sit with the SPD.) I think the SSW is seen as fairly left – when it wasn’t clear that Black-Green would get over the line, Jamaica (CDU-Gruen-FDP) was discussed as most likely, rather than CDU-FDP-SSW. So the natural options I would think are either a grand coalition or Black-Green.

    My understanding is that bare-majority coalitions are generally not considered problematic in Germany. Interestingly though, a bare-majority coalition fell short in Schleswig-Holstein a few years ago as one of its members kept voting against it (in secret ballots).

  3. Joe,

    Interesting. I usually think a bare majority is usually avoided as there is a high risk that the state would return to election soon. Perhaps the “Jamaica” coalition is most likely.

  4. Easy to put Labour’s current woes all down to the current leader.
    Other than the “disaster” that is Corbyn being the song of the day, just what policies would all of Corbyn’s naysayers Labour should adopt? What, Tory Lite maybe? Capture the “centre ground” wherever that may be at the moment? Turn really hard Left? It is clear that Labor heartlands of the old industrial north, Wales and Scotland have abandoned Labour – some to UKIP, a lot in Scotland to the SNP and some, being Alf Garnett conservative types, are doffing their caps to the Tory party.
    Once the Conservatives finally destroy what is left of the NHS and make cuts to other government services then these ‘new’ Conservatives might just see how much of mistake they have made. Mind you, having travelled back on a plane from Spain not so long ago with a self-professed “Labour voter” from the North of England who wanted all foreigners sent home, I guess Mrs May will get this ‘Labour voters’ vote regardless.

  5. @Kop, perhaps your prediction will prove right, but so far Blair has won more years in government for Labour (1997-2010) than they have spent “in the wilderness” (assuming they lose this election, and the next Parliament runs its course, 2010-2022).

  6. From Wikipedia:
    “On 2 May, the result of Mélenchon’s consultation was published, with 36.12% voting for a blank vote, 34.83% supporting a vote for Macron, and 29.05% opting to abstain;[192] Mélenchon, for his part, issued no voting instructions, only urging his supporters not to make the “terrible error” of voting for Le Pen.[193]”
    From the source cited by the Wikipedia article (translated):
    “This result will not lead to a voting instruction, it is said within the movement: “To each of the activists to decide in conscience what he will do”. According to the latest opinion polls Ifop and OpinionWay, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s voters were more likely to vote Emmanuel Macron than to vote white (i.e., abstain). 
    On the evening of the first round, on April 23, Jean-Luc Mélenchon had not given a voting instruction, which had earned him many criticisms within the political class. He subsequently warned of the “terrible mistake” of a vote in favor of Marine Le Pen.”
    Melenchon didn’t instruct his supporters to abstain; he declined to instruct them in any direction EXCEPT to refuse to countenance a vote for Le Pen.

  7. Here are the exit poll results:
    Most interesting findings…
    1. Le Pen’s supports is strongest amongst those aged 25-50 (between 40-43%) and weakest by far amongst the over 70 (22%)
    2. Manual Workers have majority support for Le Pen (56%) whilst amongst “Cadre” which I assume is Managers/ High Level Professionals, only 18%.
    3. Of voters who described their political orientation as “Far Left”, the split was 77-23%.


  8. http://www.theage.com.au/world/greatest-stain-in-french-history-helped-emmanuel-macron-prevail-over-demonised-marine-le-pen-20170508-gw039y.html

    Emmanuel Macron, the centrist and political novice, won because he was the beneficiary of a uniquely French historic and cultural legacy, where many voters wanted change but were appalled at the type of populist anger that had upturned politics in Britain and the United States. He trounced far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, keeping her well under 40 per cent, even as her aides said before the vote that anything below that figure would be considered a failure.

  9. British Columbia turned out pretty interesting. 44 for a majority: it’s currently 43 for the Liberals, 41 for the NDP, and 3 for the Greens. The NDP lead by 9 votes in one seat, before absent votes. Whoever wins that seat (Courtenay-Comox, which has been a bellwether since 1986) probably ends up with a one-seat majority (assuming the Greens support the NDP). It doesn’t get much tighter than that.

  10. As they are waiting for absentee votes (which may take up to a week or two), recounts will not be finalised until later in May. We will know then whether there is a majority or minority government. At this time, the L-G has kept Clark as premiere.

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