France’s biggest immigrant and multicultural neighborhoods are cheering the defeat of National Rally candidate Marine Le Pen.
The French newspaper Le Parisien, reporting from the multicultural Barbès neighborhood of Paris, found most residents expressed joy over Macron’s victory or just plain relief that Le Pen lost.
“Marine Le Pen only talks about immigration. But she forgets that many immigrants have the right to vote!” said 50-year-old Fatima Camara, who voted for Macron.
France features the largest immigrant population in Europe, and 85 percent of France’s Muslims voted for Emmanuel Macron. Many of them had voted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, but given the choice between Macron and Le Pen, top leaders of the Muslim community rallied supporters to get behind Macron in the final round, including the head of the Grand Mosque of Paris.
France: 85% of Muslims voted for Macron
An overwhelming share of France’s Muslim population voted for Macron
“Marine Le Pen is racist. She scares us. We have to stop this woman,” stated Jacques, one of the locals, who did not go to vote on Sunday due to a lack of time.
“If I could, I would have voted for Macron. The French economy was going to collapse. He helped us with these measures,” he affirmed.
In the first round of elections, like many voters in this district, Jacques voted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the La France Insoumise group. On April 10, the Insoumise came well ahead in the district, with 41.7 percent of the vote. Macron took second place at 29 percent, and Marine Le Pen, fourth, had barely exceeded 5 percent.
Other residents, Maud and Anna, also opted for Mélenchon. Afterwards however, they hesitated for a long time before voting for Macron in the second round.
“I had a big fear that Le Pen would win,” claimed Anna.
Christophe had a different point of view. He was not sure of his decision until 8 p.m., and then abstained from voting.
“I could not vote for Macron. We will have to continue the fight in the street,” he said, who told Le Parisian he had lived in the neighborhood for ten years.