MAPS: How France voted in the first round of the Presidential elections

The rise of the far right and the high abstention rate - worrying trends for French politics ahead of the second round of the 2022 Presidential election - can be seen in these maps of the latest French voting trends.

MAPS: How France voted in the first round of the Presidential elections
(Photo: Nicolas Tucat / AFP)

Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in the second round of the race for the French Presidency, in a rerun of the 2017 election campaign.

Incumbent Macron won 27.6 percent of the vote in Sunday’s first round, according to the Interior Ministry, with Le Pen second after picking up 23.41 percent of the total number of votes cast.

ALSO READ: Macron to face Le Pen in battle to be French president

To see how the voting went in each département, click on the Interior Ministry’s interactive map below.

Image: Ministère de l’Intérieur

Voting in the first round went broadly as predicted, and in line with 2017 trends, with a noticeable east-west divide, as maps published by news organisations show.

READ ALSO Macron versus Le Pen: What happens next in the French presidential election race?

Interestingly, the strongest overall support for third-placed candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon seems to come from overseas territories, as this map from Le Figaro, based on official results, shows.

Libération’s simpler ‘map’ shows the electoral divide in France in stronger terms.

And Franceinfo breaks up the votes into three slides, showing where each of the top three candidates did best on Sunday.

ALSO READ As it happened: Macron and Le Pen qualify for second round of French election

Another map showed how the policies of the extreme right have gained traction over the past five years.

The collapse of the vote for the traditional centre-right party Les Republicains, whose candidate Valérie Pécresse picked up just 4.8 percent of the vote, is plain in this interactive map from Franceinfo, comparing her performance in 2022 to that of François Fillon five years ago after his campaign was wrecked by an embezzlement investigation.

Meanwhile, the centre-left Parti Socialiste also had a terrible night, with candidate Anne Hidalgo picking up less than 2 percent of the vote as the French pitched for the extreme centre, right and left.

ALSO READ France’s traditional parties hammered in presidential election

Worryingly for all the candidates, the abstention rate showed that one in four eligible voters did not exercise their right to vote. This figure was higher than the first round of voting in 2017.

Le Parisien has put together this map indicating where voters felt so disenfranchised that they did not turn out to cast their ballot.

Finally, with the first round of voting over, The Local’s Talking France podcast looks at all the scores, discusses what happens next and who is likely to win in the Macron v Le Pen face off on April 24th.

PODCAST: Macron v Le Pen – who will win the French presidential election?

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France’s Macron vows new start at second term inauguration

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday vowed a new start to face immense challenges in foreign and domestic policy, as he was inaugurated for a second term after his election victory over the far right.

France's Macron vows new start at second term inauguration

In a ceremony at the Elysee Palace, Macron was confirmed by Constitutional Council chief Laurent Fabius as the winner of April’s presidential election and then signed the formal re-investiture document.

Attended by 450 people, including his wife Brigitte and his only surviving predecessors Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, the ceremony (which can be watched below) was relatively modest but marked the first time a French leader is serving a second term in 20 years.

Macron faces a daunting agenda of implementing the reforms he vowed when he came to power as France’s youngest-ever president in 2017, as well as dealing with the Russian assault against Ukraine.

“Rarely has our world and our country been confronted with such a combination of challenges,” he said, referring to the Russian invasion, the pandemic and the ecological emergency.

He vowed to be a “new president” for a “new mandate” and create a “stronger France”.

“Every day of the mandate that lies ahead I will have just one compass point. And that is to serve.”

‘Worn-out rites’
He also suggested a more inclusive and understanding style of ruling after his first term saw critics complain the former investment banker had abrasive and arrogant methods.

He vowed a “new method” to govern, far from the “worn-out rites and choreography” of the past.

In a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, 21 cannon shots were fired from the Invalides military memorial complex to celebrate the inauguration.

With no drive down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees or long red carpet, the ceremony resembled the re-inaugurations of Francois Mitterrand in 1988 and Jacques Chirac in 2002, the last French president to win a second term.

Despite the ceremony, Macron’s second term will only start officially when the first one expires at midnight on May 13.

He is set to keep playing a leading role in efforts to stop Russia’s war against Ukraine, while he carries an immense burden of expectation as a leader on the European stage with Germany still finding its footing in the post-Angela Merkel era.

Macron vowed to “act to avoid any escalation following the Russian aggression in Ukraine, to help democracy and courage to prevail, to build a new European peace and a new autonomy on our continent.”

On the domestic front, Macron must deal with the crisis over the rising cost of living and also brace for possible protests when he finally tackles his cherished pension reform, raising France’s retirement age.

Constitutional Council president Laurent Fabius (C) proclaims the official results of the 2022 presidential election in France at the Elysee presidential palace

Constitutional Council president Laurent Fabius (C) proclaims the official results of the 2022 presidential election in France at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool/AFP

He reaffirmed a vow for full employment in France and vowed to fight against inequality by reforming the health and school systems as well as against “daily insecurities and terrorism that is still there”.

Attending the ceremony were the parents of teacher Samuel Paty who was beheaded by an Islamist extremist in 2020. His mother was moved to tears when the president embraced them.

 ‘Having difficulty’

Macron won the second round of presidential polls on April 24 with a score of 58.55 percent against far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

The ceremony comes at a time of political flux in the wake of Macron’s election victory, as France gears up for legislative polls that swiftly follow in June.

READ ALSO: Why France’s parliamentary elections are important

Macron is expected to name a new premier in place of incumbent Jean Castex to lead a revamped government into the elections, but not until his second term officially kicks off.

He has mooted naming a female politician with a focus on social responsibility — although reports have indicated that overtures to leftist figures, such as former official Veronique Bedague and Socialist parliamentary
group chief Valerie Rabault, have been rebuffed.

 “Here they are obviously having difficulty finding the right person,” French political historian Jean Garrigues told AFP.

President Emmanuel Macron reviews the troops in the gardens of the Elysee palace

President Emmanuel Macron reviews the troops in the gardens of the Elysee presidential palace after his investiture ceremony. Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool/AFP

Meanwhile, the Socialist Party along with the Greens and Communists, is forming an unprecedented alliance for the parliamentary elections with the hard left France Unbowed (LFI) party of Jean-Luc Melenchon.

He was by far the best performing left-wing candidate in the first round of presidential elections and is spearheading efforts to mount a convincing challenge to Macron.

Pro-Macron factions have regrouped under the banner of Ensemble (Together) while his own Republic on the Move party, which has struggled to create a grass-roots base, is renaming itself Renaissance.

Garrigues said the problems of the ruling party were “linked by nature to his (Macron’s) political positioning which is both on the right and the left”.