French election French expats in Switzerland reject Le Pen

Macron came first in Switzerland – as he did in France – gaining just over a third of the Swiss-based votes

Macron came first in Switzerland – as he did in France – gaining just over a third of the Swiss-based votes

(Keystone)

If it were up to French citizens who live in Switzerland, the second round in the French presidential election on May 7 would be between Emmanuel Macron and François Fillon. Among Swiss voters, support in the first round for the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, who will in fact face Macron, fell below 10%.

Macron, a centrist, came first in Switzerland – as he did in France – gaining just over a third of the Swiss-based votes (34.71%). Among Swiss voters the conservative right Fillon wasn’t far behind (30.75%), with the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon (15.07%) pushing the far-right Le Pen into fourth (8.08%).

By contrast, the final outcome among French citizens everywhere produced a May 7 runoff between Macron, with 24% of the vote, and Le Pen, with 21.3%.

The Swiss results favouring more centrist and leftist candidates reflect a minor political shock, since Switzerland is generally considered fertile ground for French parties on the political right. Until now they have always enjoyed a comfortable majority, although their share has been dwindling since 1981.

In the second round of the previous election, in 2012, centre-right Nicolas Sarkozy beat centre-left François Hollande, the eventual president, by 62.29% to 37.71% in Switzerland.

Switzerland is home to the largest French community outside France. More than 134,800 French citizens are registered on the consular list in Switzerland. Of those, 112,500 are registered in Geneva and 22,300 are registered in Zurich. 

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