French Elections

Macron's Performance Boosts Markets

main 79246967 source Patrick Kovarik DPA – conservative Francois Fillon l-r independent Emmanuel Macron left Jean-Luc-Melenchon far-right Marine Le Pen socialist Benoit Hamon
From left to right: Conservative François Fillon, independent Emmanuel Macron, left politician Jean-Luc-Mélenchon, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and socialist Benoît Hamon before the debate on Monday. Source: Patrick Kovarik / DPA.

Emmanuel Macron, a pro-European and one of the favorites to win France’s upcoming presidential election, performed best in the first debate among the five contenders, according to a survey of debate watchers released in the early hours of Tuesday.

Some 29 percent of those surveyed found Mr. Macron, a 39-year old independent candidate, to be the most convincing of the five rivals, the poll held directly after Monday’s debate showed. That beat far-right contender Marine Le Pen and the conservative François Fillon, the two who are considered most likely to challenge Mr. Macron in the presidential race.

Mr. Macron was followed by the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has been trailing in election polls but surprised with 20-percent approval in the debate. That put him just ahead of Mr. Fillon and Ms. Le Pen, who tied with 19 percent, according to the polling agency Elabe, which conducted the poll for French broadcaster BFM TV.

Mr. Macron’s performance and the poll results were a relief to financial markets, sending up the euro against the U.S. dollar and boosting French banking stocks and government bonds.

Continue reading: Ms. Le Pen does not want to be “the vice-chancellor of Madame Merkel”

We hope you enjoyed this free article.

Subscribe today and get full access to market-moving news in Europe's leading economy.

Similar articles that might interest you

French Elections

Another French Disaster

French politics have devolved into populist mud-slinging, argues philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. With the specter of Marine Le Pen looming large over the country’s upcoming elections, is it too late to start taking politics more seriously?


French Independent Candidate Meets With Merkel

Emmanuel Macron, the independent candidate for president in France, has met with German leaders, receiving a public endorsement from the leader of the center-left Social Democratic members of the ruling coalition.

Handelsblatt Interviews

France’s Threat to Europe

France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen's language is full of anti-German rhetoric, which could blow the France-German axis apart. France's more mainstream politicians warn that the European project is under threat, but all is not yet lost.

Marine Le Pen

Willful Ignorance Will Not Save Europe

Europeans are wondering how close France’s Marine Le Pen can come to the French presidency this spring. Off the record, those in the corridors of power admit they are worried. But also, somehow, unable to acknowledge their fears and come up with a contingency plan.

French Election

Implosion of the Socialists

In an acrimonious nomination race, France's center-left Socialist Party may fall apart and become unelectable, writes Handelsblatt's Paris correspondent.

French-German Rapport

A Warm, but Cautious Bienvenue

With the election approaching, French presidential candidates are visiting Berlin to underline their commitment to the French-German bond. But the relationship is under pressure, and both sides are wary.


Francois Hollande Declines to Run

The socialist president, the most unpopular leader in post-war French history, has declined to run for a second term, citing concerns that his candidacy would jeopardize his party's bid to remain in power.