French President Emmanuel Macron won a second five-year term on Sunday, triumphing over far-right challenger Marine Le Pen and becoming the first French president since 2002 to be reelected. Macron beat LePen by a 17-point margin, though over a quarter of voters abstained from voting, and Macron’s victory was much narrower than in 2017 — pointing to growing support in recent years for Le Pen’s openly anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platform. “The 17 percentage point margin of Macron isn’t as comfortable of a margin as it looks,” says Paris-based journalist Cole Stangler, citing a “tremendous amount of dissatisfaction” among working-class immigrant voters. “Some people, frankly, are struggling to see the difference between Macron and Le Pen,” continues Stangler, who says Macron has enacted a “very right-wing policy program.”
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