A stinging rebuke by voters in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election Sunday is certain to set off postmortem finger-pointing and a strategic recalibration within Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party as he weighs a path forward for amending the constitution.
“We take the results seriously,” a stunned Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters Sunday night. “We will reassess what needs to be reassessed and do our best to recover our lost ground.”
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s new Tomin First no Kai party and groups aligned with her captured 79 seats in the 127-member metropolitan assembly, handily defeating the LDP, which was left with a meager 23 seats, down from 57 before the election.
Hakubun Shimomura, who heads the LDP’s Tokyo chapter but faces allegations of receiving murky political donations, attributed the party’s loss to trouble on the national level. “Heavy headwinds were blowing far above, in national politics,” he said in a Fuji Television program. He later told reporters that he plans to step down to take responsibility for the loss.
Abe’s party had enjoyed unrivaled strength since unseating the Democratic Party of Japan in December 2012, as victories in three national-level elections followed. But a favoritism scandal involving a veterinary school run by a friend of Abe’s as well as a gaffe by his hawkish defense minister on the campaign trail appear to have weakened public support.
Markets had already reacted positively to the results of the first round of the Presidential election (on Sunday. 23 April)
We believe a Macron presidency has been embedded in market pricing since the first-round results were announced on April 23, we do not expect his victory in today’s run-off to have a significant impact on markets from tomorrow
GS add the next step is the legislative elections:
Macron will need to now obtain a parliamentary majority in the forthcoming legislative elections if he is to implement the programme he set out in his election manifesto
The first and the second round of these elections will take place on 11 and 18 June 2017
Note, the legislative elections are a 2-round process also, with 577 members of the National Assembly up for election.
Investors breathed a sigh of relief following the first-place showing of centrist and pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron in the first round of France’s presidential elections Sunday, sending the Euro to a five-month high relative to the dollar. Populist Marine Le Pen ranked second in the voting.
Why it matters: The results make it more likely that Macron will be France’s next president, keeping France in the EU. That should have a positive impact on both French stocks and the U.S. economy.
Paris rising: High Frequency Economics’ Carl Weinberg predicts that French stocks will rally in trading Monday, and that interest rates on French government debt will fall. France isn’t out of the woods, however. Weinberg writes that Macron will have a tough time corralling a divided Parliament to implement pro-growth reforms.
Domestic affairs: A Blackrock Investment Institute note to clients calls Macron a “business friendly” candidate that will not get in the way of Europe’s improving economy. The U.S. economy has seen the benefits of faster growth in Europe—political stability across the Atlantic is good for business here.
Caveat: David Zahn of Franklin Templeton Investments warns that “it’s not a done deal yet,” and that the push and pull of a high profile election will cause “markets to remain volatile in the run-up to the final round of voting on May 7 and potentially even beyond.”
The first results are in and according to IPSOS exit polls, Macron leads with 23.7% of the vote, Le Pen is second with 21.7%, with Fillon and Mellenchon tied for third at 19.5%. However, according to official results, from the French interior ministry, Le Pen is leading with 24.3% of the vote, Macron is at 21.4%, while Fillon has 20.3%.
Meanwhile, according to French official data:
LE PEN GETS 24.2% IN FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY PRELIMINARY COUNT
MACRON GETS 21.4% IN FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY PRELIMINARY
And an update:
LE PEN AT 24.9%, MACRON AT 21.1%: INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:13PM
FILLON AT 20%, MELENCHON AT 18%%: INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:13PM
FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY 8:13PM DATA BASED ON 5.25M VOTERS
Elsewhere, Benoit Hamon, the candidate for the incumbent Parti Socialiste of Francois Hollande, has just conceded defeat after a dismal showing of around 6%. He spoke to supporters and the press in a packed out hall and made an instantaneous endorsement for Emmanuel Macron.
HAMON SAYS ENDORSES MACRON TO BEAT LE PEN IN SECOND ROUND: BBG
While we urge taking early polls with a big grain of salt, according to a Harris poll, Macron is in the lead with 24.5% of the vote, follow by Melenchon and Le Pen in second place with 20% of the vote.
Despite leading in the polls for Round One, The Express reports that a monumental computer blunder could cost Marine Le Pen the French general election as 500,000 citizens living outside of France have the chance to vote twice.
The election has become extremely close with just 4.5 percentage points separating Macron, Fillon, Mélenchon, and Le Pen…
Which is why this shocking error in election procedures could be the swing to crush Le Pen’s hopes. As The Express reports, half a million people received duplicate polling cards in the post, which would allow them to cast two votes at the first round of the election, held on April 23.
French authorities confirmed they would not be investigating the potential electoral fraud until AFTER the election, when retrospective prosecution may take place.
We are sure this is a simple ‘accident’, but coincidentally (for the establishment), this could crush Ms Le Pen’s dreams of surging to power, as most French nationals living outside of their country are not right wing – demonstrated by the fact many feel they depend on the European Union (EU) to guarantee their stay in foreign countries. Far left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has surged in the polls recently and threatens to break into the leadership race against Ms Le Pen and Mr Macron, could also benefit from this catastrophic error.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is facing a tough time in his political career due to the back to back defeats across the country, is once again making the headlines. This time Rahul has been into the limelight for a completely unique reason. Vishal Diwan, who is an engineering student from Hoshangabad Madhya Pradesh has approached to the Guinness Book of World Records and requested to enlist Rahul Gandhi’s name for losing as many as 27 elections in the country.
Diwan believes that the fact that Congress party has lost 27 elections in the span of 5 years is somewhere a result of Rahul Gandhi’s active participation in election campaigning and media interactions. As a matter of fact, this number consistent losses are more than enough to get qualified for the record book. In order to fulfill his wish, Diwan has written a letter to the administration of Guinness Books and have also paid the enrollment fees for the same. Diwan has received the confirmation of acceptance of his application, but the US-based record book have not confirmed whether it will approve such request or not.
The leader of the anti-immigration French National Front party Marine Le Pen kicked off her presidential campaign on Saturday by echoing many of the same vows that brought Trump to power in the US, hoping promises to shield voters from globalization, promote protectionism, leave the Eurozone, slap taxes on imports and on the job contracts of foreigners, lower the retirement age, increasing welfare benefits and boost defense spending push her above her competitors at a time of sweeping political turmoil in France.
According to opinion polls – which have recently shown their utter irrelevance in the age of Brexit and Trump – the 48-year old daughter of National Front (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has a solid lead in the first round on April 23 but then losing the May 7 run-off to a mainstream candidate, who after last week’s fireworks may no longer be her main challenger Francois Fillon, thanks to a corruption scandal.
And in the most unpredictable election race France has known in decades, the FN hopes a two-day rally in Lyon where Le Pen is spelling out her electoral platform, will help convince voters to back her. “The aim of this programme is first of all to give France its freedom back and give the people a voice,” Le Pen said in the introduction to the manifesto.
As 2016 draws to a close, a sense of unease is gripping many commentators as they look ahead. This year brought victories for Brexit and Donald Trump. The outcome of both votes were largely unexpected. What will 2017 bring? The EU is facing three, or even four, elections in major member states. The Netherlands, France, Germany and possibly also Italy will go to the polls. The outcome in all four elections is far from certain at this stage. Indeed, voting behavior seems to have become difficult to predict.
Economic and sociological research points to a number of different factors provoking these recent results. The debate is broadly about whether it is economic issues such as income inequality, cultural issues such as a rejection of equal rights for women, minorities and gay people, or factors relating to citizens’ perceived loss of control over their destiny that has driven people to support populist candidates and causes.
At first sight, the economic factors seem to have played a strong role. The vote for Brexit predominantly came from the countryside, where GDP per capita levels are significantly lower than in the cities. Moreover, income inequality levels are much higher in the United States and the U.K. than in continental Europe. And indeed, one can show that the Brexit vote is significantly affected by regional income inequality though the effect may not be very large.
The second explanation is a rejection of progressive cultural norms. An interesting study by Ingelhart and Norris emphasizes very much this aspect. They offer evidence that the recent protest votes are a cultural backlash against progressive values. And indeed, discourse especially on social media has totally changed. Unfortunately, it seems to have become widely acceptable to talk of white supremacy and engage in racist discourse.
On Wednesday night, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore made yet another mind-numbing prediction: He strongly suggested to late-night talk show host Seth Meyers that the Electoral College would deny President-elect Donald Trump a victory prior to his January 20th, 2017 inauguration. Moore previously stunned everyone by predicting Trump’s victory at a time when the analytics — and the political-media establishment — all favored Hillary Clinton.
There is a mechanism for what Moore is suggesting, however unlikely, and it exists within the Electoral College itself in the form of a decentralized, existential bunch of wonks. And, historically speaking, they have never actually asserted their power and changed a presidential election. They’re called ‘faithless electors,’ people nominated to represent the will of the people but who may, constitutionally speaking, revoke their duties. So far, there are seven ‘faithless electors’ who have defected from voting for Trump in the Electoral College. Count ‘em, seven — out of 270. That’s not a lot, obviously, but the mind balks at how quickly momentum could swing against a candidate that garnered over 2.5 million fewer votes than his challenger in the popular vote.
Here are three reasons why I believe Trump could, incredibly, still lose this election:
Trump has revealed himself to be fully in support of the establishment.
With his selections for pretty much the full gamut of cabinet positions, Trump has revealed himself to be an establishmentfigure, which is exactly the perception he ran against. Will his voters turn against him? Mostly no (or, at least, not yet). Will the other 74.5 percent of Americans who did not support him reject his victory? Possibly. Will this alone cause Trump to end up losing the vaunted Electoral College? No. Of course not! That’s why there are two more reasons.
Hillary won the popular vote by over 2.5 million.
This is fact. The number is actually growing. It’s historic; it’s actually disgusting if one is prone to be disgusted by electoral politics. Will this alone — or in conjunction with reason one — cause Trump to lose? No. Of course not! That’s why there’s one more, important, reason.