10:42am Final results: Macron wins by 58.5-41.5; that 17-point margin is well down from his 32.2-point (66.1-33.9) margin against Le Pen in 2017, but better than polls expected. Turnout was 72.0%, with valid votes at 65.8% of registered due to people intentionally voiding their votes. Next in France: the June 12 and 19 legislative elections.
8:41am With 97% counted, Macron leads by 57.4-42.6.
7:27am Last 2% are big for Macron. He now leads by 56.3-43.7 with 88% counted.
7:07am With 86% counted, Macron leads by 55.7-44.3
5:59am With 66% counted in official results, Macron leads by 53.3-46.7. That gap will widen as more cities report.
5:55am Monday According to this final results projection, Macron wins by almost 59-41, a bigger margin than polls estimated.
Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.
All polls will be closed by 4am Monday AEST for the French presidential runoff election between incumbent Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen. Ten final polls have been released, ranging from a 53-47 Macron lead up to 57-43.
Unless the polls understate the far-right in France by nearly as much as they did in the April 3 Hungarian election, Macron will win, though well down from his 66.1-33.9 2017 margin against Le Pen. French polls overstated the far-right in both the first round of this election and in 2017.
Le Figaro has a graphic showing how supporters of eliminated first round candidates are breaking between Macron, Le Pen and abstain. Far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon had 22.0% in the first round, and Macron is getting 34% of his votes, Le Pen 21% and abstain 45%. Le Pen gets 82% from the more far-right Éric Zemmour (7.1% in the first round), with Macron doing well from the Greens (4.6%) and winning a plurality from conservative Valérie Pécresse (4.8%).
May 5 UK local and Northern Ireland assembly elections
UK local government elections will occur on May 5. All London borough councils will be up for election, as will all Scottish and Welsh councils. At the 2021 local elections, the Conservatives defeated Labour by 36-29 with 17% for the Liberal Democrats, according to the BBC’s projected national share (PNS) that estimates a national outcome from council results.
Most seats to be contested in England were last up in 2018, when Labour and the Conservatives were tied at 35% each with 16% Lib Dems according to PNS. Current national polls have Labour leading the Conservatives by about five points, so Labour should gain councillors. It should help Labour that a large number of councils up for election are in London. A very bad performance by the Conservatives could again threaten Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister.
The Northern Ireland assembly election will also be held May 5. There are 90 members, with the Hare-Clark system used in 18 five-member electorates. Some contentious matters require a majority within both the Irish nationalists and British unionist blocs as well as an overall majority. Current polls have the Irish nationalist Sinn Féin ahead of the Democratic Unionist Party. If Sinn Féin wins more votes and seats than any other party, it would be the first time a nationalist party had done this since the first assembly election in 1998.
Other recent European elections
Tiny Malta has become something rare today – a stronghold for the centre-left. Labour won its third successive term on March 26, defeating the opposition Nationalists by a vote share of 55.1-41.7, and 38 seats to 29.
At the March 27 German Saarland state election, the centre-left SPD won 43.5% (up 13.9% from 2017), the conservative CDU 28.5% (down 12.2%), the far-right AfD 5.7%, the Greens 4.995% and the pro-business FDP 4.8%. As the Greens and FDP missed the 5% threshold required for a proportional allocation of seats, the SPD won a majority with 29 of the 51 seats. There will be a much bigger German state election in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 15.
At the April 3 Serbian elections, the populist SNS, which has governed since 2012, easily retained the presidency, but lost 60 parliamentary seats to be left short of a majority with 120 of the 250 seats.