EUROPE

THE BATTLE FOR FRANCE: Macron Makes Grab At Centre-Right

OVER six dozen centre-right Councillors and Mayors have announced their support for President Macron following a historic defeat for the centre-right party, The Republicans, who obtained a mere eight per cent of the vote in the European elections in May.

Macron has continued to poach members from the centre-right ever since he came second in the first round of the 2012 French presidential election.

President Macron has clearly exploited the divisions within the Republicans to his own benefit. Macron knows that Marine Le Pen is the only candidate he could beat in his 2022 campaign for re-election.

President Macron.

In 2017, establishment conservatives rallied behind Macron to defeat Marine Le Pen, whom they view as a threat to the survival of the Fifth Republic.

Historically, the mainstream voters have united to keep the nationalist right out of power. 

This was first seen in 2002 when the leftists rallied behind President Jacques Chirac to defeat Jean Marie Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election that year. 

It was repeated again in 2015 in the regional elections, in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, to prevent Marion Maréchel Le Pen from winning the regional presidency against The Republicans. 

In the European elections, only six of the twenty-three elected MEPs for Macron’s alliance are members of his En Marche party. Five of the others come from the centrist Democratic Movement, while a handful came from the centre-right.

Edouard Philippe, the current Prime Minister, was a member of the centre-right Republicans prior to his defection to Macron in 2017. 

Macron made Edouard Philippe Prime Minister in 2017.

A complete collapse of The Republicans would push hundreds of thousands of more voters into the arms of Marine Le Pen. Macron is betting against this. 

Recent polling published by the Journal du Dimache newspaper shows that 26% of Republicans want an alliance with Marine Le Pen and her National Rally. Whereas’ 31% support an alliance with Macron’s En Marche. 

This division will not subside, and shall only grow and as the centre-right continues to tear itself apart. 

Marion Maréchal Le Pen, the niece of Marine, has called upon conservatives to rally behind the National Rally to bring down Macron and his globalist government. 

  Marine Le Pen with Niece/potential political adversary Marion Maréchal.

Marine Le Pen views her niece as a threat. She feels that Marion Maréchal could take over the National Rally in an internal coup.

Laurent Wauquiez, the former leader of the Republicans, resigned following their horrendous showing the EU elections.

This realignment of politics leaves Macron’s En Marche and Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National as the principal parties in the French political system. 

Of the nearly two-dozen parties represented in the National Assembly, these two have broken away from the rest in terms of support and organisation. 

A rematch between Macron and Le Pen currently favours the incumbent president according to the polls.

Macron and Le Pen have locked horns for years, with the President unable to shake-off his most popular opponent.

To continue to diminish Macron’s support will require Marine’s niece, Marion, to bring scores of influential Republicans into the National Rally.

Marion Maréchal is seen as more palatable to French voters than her aunt, Marine. 

Nevertheless, Marine was able to poach two senior officials from The Republicans to stand in the EU elections. 

Thierry Mariani defected to the Rassemblement National in January and was elected as an MEP in May.

Thierry Mariani.

Mariani was Secretary of State for Transport from 2010-2012. 

He was also a member of the National Assembly from 1994-2017. Mariani’s defection to the National Rally was a triumph for Le Pen. 

Another high profile defection to Marine Le Pen came from Jean-Paul Garraud, who served as a member of the National Assembly for the centre-right from 2002-2012. He was also elected as an MEP in May.

The National Rally will need many more of these defections if they are to weaken Macron enough to snatch away the presidency.

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