The election of Emmanuel Macron to the French Presidency has given the world a great sigh of relief, certainly that's the reaction in the Beehive.

The past year in politics has seen the world turned on its head with the unpredictable happening, first with the British voting to exit Europe and then with the unthinkable, the boorish Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.

The handsome 39 year old Frenchman has brought some sanity to a troubled political world.

Even Bill English, who a year ago would never have thought he'd be leading this country now, has reflected on the French election saying we approached the uncertainty around the world with naive kiwi optimism, that the world wasn't going to turn inward and protectionist, or xenophobic. He reckons Macron's election was a bit of a reaction against that kind of talk.


For our Prime Minister that's wishful thinking, not just on a more liberal trade message out of Paris, but that a kind of measured reason can transpire in an election and that the far right, wall-building mentality of Macron's far right opponent Marine le Pen doesn't prevail.

On a person level though, the new French President is unusual. The 15 year old Emmanuel fell in love with his drama teacher Brigitte, 24 years his senior, and who was already married and who had three children, one of whom was a classmate of her now husband. His parents sent him to Paris to finish school in an attempt to break up their relationship but to no avail. She divorced her husband in 2006 and married Macron the following year.

In this country a teacher in a relationship with a student would certainly face disciplinary action, at the very least.

But for French Presidents it would seem anything goes. The outgoing President Francois Hollande was once photographed, face hidden behind his scooter helmet, visiting the apartment of a much younger actress, and earlier Presidents shocked their nation with clandestine liaisons with one even crashing into a milk cart at dawn with his mistress in tow which saw his ratings soar because of the chivalry shown by him driving her home!

So Macron's private life isn't seen as an impediment but now attention turns his political life.

The French National Assembly elections are next month and his political party which he founded only a year ago is expected to do well, well enough to confirm the President's power is the question. If it does it's yet another kick in the guts for the political establishment, which should give Bill English pause for thought.