The biggest demographic group of protest voters in the last French Presidential elections were the over 65, Reuters reports.

The information is inferred.

Reuters claims there is a 78% positive correlation between regions and departments with a bigger share of spoiled and blank ballots and a larger population of the 65+ demographic. The claim is also reinforced by Opinionway survey in May, which showed that 14% of the specific demographic group planned to case a spoiled or blank vote.

There are two explanations for this behavior.

Like a number of demographic groups, the over 65s were not thrilled with the choice between the far-right Marine Le Pen and the liberal Emmanuel Macron. Some associate Macron with the outgoing and rather unpopular Francois Hollande administration, while they are not convinced by the idea of exiting the Euro. In this sense, the choice was political and has little to do with demographics.

However, there are two more factors that make over 65s chose the blank or spoiled ballot.

First, they have more of an aversion to National Front (FN), as they have more vivid memories of fascism and the Second World War. FN has a legacy of anti-Semitism, while Marine Le Pen’s claims that France bears no responsibility for the Holocaust have had similarly negative effects. Second, people of that generation in small communities are ashamed of abstaining, opting instead for this particular form of protest vote.

epa03428929 A pensioner wearing a Phrygian Cap, known as the traditional hat from French Revolution days, takes part in a protest as part of nationwide demonstrations of retired people and pensioners defending their rights to fair pensions, in Paris, France, 11 October 2012.  EPA/IAN LANGSDON
A pensioner wearing a Phrygian Cap, known as the traditional hat from French Revolution days, takes part in a protest as part of nationwide demonstrations of retired people and pensioners defending their rights to fair pensions, in Paris, France, 11 October 2012. EPA/IAN LANGSDON