“Macron’s gamble to clarify the French political map has failed”

“Macron’s gamble to clarify the French political map has failed”
“Macron’s gamble to clarify the French political map has failed”

– What are the reasons for Macron’s failure at the polls?

MacronHe embraced the logic of neoliberalism and is a kind of French Thatcher, thirty or forty years after her. He has attacked the French unions and the “French social model”. The working classes and the “middle classes” of small towns and rural France have suffered greatly, while the bourgeoisie of Paris and the large regional centres have done well. In 2017 he built a centrist movement that drove a wedge between the left and the right. But this centrist movement (La Republique En Marche, later Renaissance) lost its majority in 2022 and now the left and the right have a majority. In the second rounds of the presidential elections in 2017 and 2022, Macron called on French voters to defend the Republic against Marine Le Pen. This is what is called “republican discipline”: keeping out a party that has long been considered anti-republican. As in 2002, many people on the left held their noses to vote for Emmanuel Macron. The question now was how the Macronists would vote in the second round. They did not want the National Rally, but neither did they want the left, which they hate. So Le Pen could benefit from this situation, but in the end the cordon sanitaire worked.

– France could experience a much more pronounced political deadlock than the one it has been experiencing for months since July 7. Could this scenario occur, with a difficult outcome at least for the next year?

– The presidential majority will be even smaller from this Sunday than it was in the 2022 legislative elections. Macron’s bid to clarify the French political map has failed. He will face an expanded left and right from the presidency and will have to make a pact with one of them or govern with emergency powers.

– Le Pen has been overtaken by the left and the Macronist camp but continues to reap impressive results. Why?

– Le Pen’s advance is a shock, but it has been a long-standing threat. The National Front was founded in 1972 and made its way after Giscard’s defeat in 1981. In 2002, Jean-Marie Le Pen reached the second round of the presidential election, forcing the left to vote for Chirac in order to defeat him. His daughter Marine took over in 2011 and has tried to “de-demonise” the party. She came close to defeating Macron in 2017 and 2022. France has a revolutionary past, but also a counter-revolutionary one. After France’s defeat in 1940, the Vichy regime abolished the Republic and collaborated with the Nazis. The Algerian war of 1954-62 produced a very right-wing and anti-Arab French colonial movement. The FN owes much to both.

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