France Elections: Macron’s Election ‘Victory’ Might Be Meaningless – The President’s Legacy in Ruins | World | News
Macron’s ally launches scathing attack on Marine Le Pen
French leader Emmanuel Macron and his challenger Marine Le Pen qualified on Sunday for what promises to be a hotly contested runoff for the April 24 presidential election, pitting a pro-European economic liberal against a far-right nationalist . With partial results putting Mr Macron in first place ahead of Ms Le Pen after the first round of voting, other top contenders conceded defeat. With the exception of another far-right candidate, Eric Zemmour, they all urged voters to block the far-right in the second round.
But after five years in power where his abrasive style has shocked many, while Le Pen has managed to soften his image, Mr. Macron will have to fight hard to win back disgruntled voters.
Experts say Sunday’s result shows the incumbent president has failed to win more voters since 2017, helping to bolster both the country’s far-right factions and far-left supporters.
ING Economics highlighted two major risks for Mr Macron ahead of the second round of elections.
With 30% of the combined votes for Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen, the far right has never been so powerful in France.
Ms Le Pen’s strategy is also very different from the one she proposed in 2017, presenting herself as a much less extreme and more palatable candidate.
He said: “I agree with political experts who observe that the French political system is unstructured and very fragile.
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University professor and author Dr Matthew Fraser has claimed Mr Macron’s “isolated” support and rise in far-right voters is largely his doing.
“Macron’s center, with 28% support, is isolated and flanked by powerful populist movements at the extremes: more than 30% of the vote on the far right, around 25% on the far left.
“This recomposition is largely the work of Macron. In 2017, he skillfully exploited the structural weaknesses of the French political system by disrupting it – launching his own movement which produced major cracks in the two main governing parties, the Socialists and Republicans.
“Five years later, after the first round of voting, these two longstanding governing parties are decimated – wiped out, forced to rebuild from scratch. What remains in the aftermath is Macron’s movement, isolated in the center, surrounded by powerful electoral forces on the extremes.”
Echoing his words, the professor of French and European politics at University College London, said the French president “put himself in a very difficult position”.
He also argued that Mr Macron is largely responsible for the rise of far-right ideas.
He said: “Since 2017, Macron’s project has been to absorb the PS, the center and the LR, that is to say all the centre-left and centre-right government forces into ONE party. I don’t see how it could be sustainable in the long run.
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“Macron’s project has eradicated all the dominant political forces, and it puts aside an extreme right and a radical left which are strong but which cannot manage to obtain a majority on their own. In short, it is now Macron or the chaos… except that Macron is now seen as part of the chaos.
“Let’s keep in mind that the personal scores of Macron, Le Pen and Mélenchon are much higher than the real scores of LREM, RN and LFI in the last local and national elections. This discrepancy is problematic. Where will they get a majority in the House to govern? ?
“Macron has put himself in a very difficult position. He is deeply unpopular on the left and the far right (the other two blocs), and his program is aimed at the wealthy categories. Yet he desperately needs the votes of left to beat Le Pen in two weeks.
“Macron has another big problem: he has used heavy-handed hard-right tactics to control social movements and he has shamelessly used far-right rhetoric or dog whistling on immigration and Islam. Macron is largely responsible for legitimizing far-right ideas.
“This is Macron’s deep contradiction: he says he is ‘as much on the left as he is on the right’. This is wrong: he leans strongly towards the right which has shrunk terribly. On the right, he does not only the far right survives and hates him as much as the left.
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“If Macron doesn’t engage left-wing voters between the two rounds (he didn’t in his speech last night), he will lose to Le Pen. This time around, a lot of left-wing voters who are totally exasperated by Macron, will abstain, a minority will even vote for Le Pen.
“If Le Pen is elected, a period of deep political instability and social unrest will begin because I don’t see how she could secure a majority in the House to govern.
“If an unrepentant Macron is re-elected, the situation will only be slightly better: he will be deeply unpopular from day one. His opponents will be divided and weak, so politics will transfer largely to the streets and direct action.
“Nothing is decided, and the battle we will wage in the next 15 days will be decisive for France and Europe,” Macron told his supporters, urging all voters to rally behind him on April 24. to prevent the extreme right from ruling Europe. The second economy of the Union.
Ifop pollsters predicted a very close second round, with 51% for Mr. Macron and 49% for Ms. Le Pen. The gap is so tight that victory either way is within the margin of error.
Other pollsters have offered a slightly larger margin in favor of Mr Macron, with as much as 54%. But it was in any case much less important than in 2017, when Macron beat Ms. Le Pen with 66.1% of the vote.
Ms Le Pen, who had eaten away at Mr Macron’s 10-point poll lead in recent weeks thanks to a campaign focused on cost-of-living issues, said she was the one protecting the weak and uniting a nation tired of its elite.
“What will be at stake on April 24 is a choice of society, a choice of civilization,” she told her supporters, who chanted “We are going to win!” as she told them, “I will bring order back to France.”
Mr Macron, meanwhile, told supporters waving French and European flags: “The only credible project to help purchasing power is ours”.
A victory for Le Pen on April 24 would be a similar jolt to the establishment as Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union (EU) or Donald Trump’s 2017 entry into the White House.
France would pass from the status of engine of European integration to that of a Euro-skeptic who is also wary of the NATO military alliance.
While Ms Le Pen has abandoned past ambitions of a “Frexit” or to take France out of the euro zone’s single currency, she sees the EU as a simple alliance of sovereign states.