Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief if not for the fact that Emmanuel Macron won the French election than the fact that Marine Le Pen was defeated — and fairly handily. You can be cheered that he won with almost 60% of the vote or sobered by the fact that she got more than 40% and significantly increased her 2017 margin. To me the more striking reality is that there now seems to be in effect two parties in France — a big-tent civic democratic party and a rightist nationalist, revanchist party. The former is winning the elections for now. But no one wins every election.
In 2017 it all seemed contingent. But now it seems more like the norm, the structure of French politics as opposed to a one off situation driven by a series of surprise events.