Exclusive: In France, Many Young Gay Men Will Vote for Marine Le Pen
In February, the premium gay social network Hornet polled its extensive network of French users on how they would vote in this year’s controversial presidential election. Now Hornet follows up with its users in advance of the election’s second round, questioning its userbase of gay men in France on how they will vote in this Sunday’s final round. The nation’s battle between center-right candidate Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen has been a bitter one — with LGBT issues and concerns playing a role — but that will all soon come to a close. The results of Hornet’s second-round survey — with over 5,000 men responding — have uncovered an interesting dynamic about how age correlates with political leanings in France.
Hornet asked three questions to those who were sure to vote. To the first question, “Who do you think you will vote for in the second round?” gay men responded unsurprisingly like all French citizens: 63.5% would vote in favor of Emmanuel Macron, 36.5% for Marine Le Pen.
“Who do you think you will vote for in the second round?”
However, as you will see, results greatly depend on the age of the respondents. For respondents between 18 and 29, votes in favor of Marine Le Pen are much more significant. The candidate of the National Front exceeds 40% in this age group, even reaching 49% in 25-year-old respondents. In our poll, gay men under 30 account for almost half of the surveyed respondents. In this age group, Emmanuel Macron receives 56.5% of votes against 43.5% for Marine Le Pen.
From 30 to 49 years of age, these proportions change radically. In this age group, which represents 45% of respondents, the vote in favor of Emmanuel Macron climbs to 67.8% against 32.2% for Marine Le Pen.
One explanation is the fact that this age group is comprised of respondents who knew the Front National political party before Marine Le Pen took over in 2010 with her attempt to un-demonize the extreme right party. These men likely recall her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and his homophobic and serophobic remarks. For example, he argued in the 1980s that people living with HIV should be locked up. Remarkably, he continues to make homophobic statements like those to this day.
This rejection of Marine Le Pen is even more pronounced after the age of 50, wherein she receives only 20% of the votes.
The second question in Hornet’s poll concerns respondents’ votes in the first round of the French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron came very far ahead with 40.25% of the votes of the 5,093 people who answered this question. In February’s Hornet poll, the young candidate was credited with 38.1% of the vote.
The National Front candidate collected 19.2% in our February consultation — 21.46% in this second round poll — which means things are looking a little better for her today among gay men in France.
Just behind Le Pen, leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon (often called a French version of American politician Bernie Sanders) got 21.17% of the first-round vote from these second-round respondents. Back in February, Mélenchon had collected only 13.2% of Hornet respondents’ votes. The candidate of the Socialist party, Benoit Hamon, polled at 18.5% in February but apparently collected only 6.36% of the votes of these new Hornet respondents.
Of those who responded to last week’s Hornet poll, here’s how they voted in the French presidential election’s first round:
According to the data, few voters have changed their minds from the first to second round. Unsurprisingly, supporters of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in the first round say they will vote almost exclusively for their candidate in the second round (99.18% and 97.12%, respectively). Those who voted for Benoit Hamon will also vote en masse for Emmanuel Macron (90.43%). As for the other two candidates, Mélenchon and Fillon, results are more mixed. Among those who originally voted for Mélenchon, Le Pen collects 29.68% of the votes. Among those who voted for Fillon, the majority (61%) will vote for for Le Pen.
Deferral of votes among the five main candidates in the first round:
If elected president of France this Sunday, Marine Le Pen will repeal the nation’s same-sex marriage and adoption law and will oppose medically assisted procreation (PMA) and surrogate mothers (GPA).
If elected, Emmanuel Macron will not change the law on marriage and adoption. He is opposed to the GPA but not to the PMA. He has also stated that he is ready to put in place a comprehensive plan to fight homophobia and transphobia, especially at school.
This poll was conducted by Hornet among its users between April 27-28, 2017. There were 5,224 respondents to Question 1 (“Who will you vote for in the second round?”), 5,093 to Question 2 (“Who did you vote for in the first round?”) and 5,174 answers to Question 3, which asked the respondent’s age.