Macron’s Calculated Election Call?

Contrary to media promotion Macron has never really been a well supported French leader. Think of Trudeau here in Canada. Doug Ford in Ontario- They win elections but most people don’t vote anymore. Would these persons win if electoral support was larger?

Macron isn’t foolish. My suspicion is he called this election to solidify his leadership in France. We shall see?

Marine LePen had not won enough votes to garner a majority & maneuvering is taking place!!

French election

Opponents of France’s National Rally (RN) stepped up their bid to block the far-right party from power as more candidates said they would bow out of this weekend’s run-off election to avoid splitting the anti-RN vote.

Some 180-plus candidates have confirmed they will not stand in Sunday’s second-round for France’s 577-seat national parliament, according to local media estimates.

Marine Le Pen’s RN came out well ahead in last Sunday’s first-round vote after President Emmanuel Macron’s gamble on a snap election backfired, leaving his centrist camp in a lowly third place behind a hastily formed left-wing alliance.

But even before the manoeuvring of the last 24 hours to create a “republican front” to block the anti-immigrant, eurosceptic party, it was far from clear the RN could win the 289 seats needed for a majority.

Pollsters calculated the first round put the RN on track for anything between 250-300 seats. But that was before the tactical withdrawals and cross-party calls for voters to back whichever candidate was best placed to defeat the local RN rival.

The match is not over,” the Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, told France 2. “We must mobilise all our forces.”

Financial markets gained yesterday on relief that the far right had not performed better, but the reaction has been muted by the fact that a hung parliament would also risk policy paralysis for the rest of Mr Macron’s presidency till 2027.

There was initial confusion over whether Mr Macron’s allies would stand down in local contests in favour of better-placed rival candidates if they came from the radical left-wing France Unbowed (LFI) party of Jean-Luc Melenchon.

However Mr Macron yesterday told a closed-door meeting of ministers at the Elysee Palace that the top priority was blocking the RN from power and that LFI candidates could be endorsed if necessary.

The “republican front” has worked before – such as in 2002 when voters of all stripes overwhelmingly backed Jacques Chirac to defeat Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, in a presidential contest.

However, it is not certain voters these days are willing to follow guidance from political leaders on where to place their vote, while Ms Le Pen’s efforts to soften the image of her party has made it less of a pariah for millions.

She repeated her assertion that the RN would not try to form a government if it and its allies did not have a workable majority in parliament.

“We cannot agree to form a government if we cannot act. That would be the worst of betrayals of our voters,” she told France Inter radio.

Ms Le Pen has urged voters to give the RN an absolute majority, which would see Jordan Bardella, the 28-year-old RN chief with no governing experience, become prime minister.

However, in a foretaste of the sour mood that would prevail in the event of a power-sharing “cohabitation” between Mr Macron and an RN-led government, Ms Le Pen referred to media speculation that he was planning to make key public sector appointments aimed at preventing the RN from implementing its policies.

While not saying she had any evidence that was the case, Ms Le Pen said any such move would amount to an “administrative coup”.

Analysts say the most likely outcome of the snap election is a hung parliament that could lead to months of political paralysis and chaos.

The election results fuelled fresh criticism of Mr Macron’s decision to call the vote in the first place, a move he took with only a tight circle of advisors.

The chaos also risks damaging the international credibility of Mr Macron, who is set to attend a NATO summit in the US immediately after the vote.

Let’s make a deal

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