Recent polls suggest that the French election could be an uphill battle between President Emmanuel Macron and his main opponent, Marine Le Pen. A poll found that if she ran a runoff today she would get 47-48 percent versus Macron’s 52-53 percent. Ms. Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Rally Party in France, said she would win the presidential election next month. At the moment, the president has a slight lead – but can increasing criticism lead to his downfall?
In a 2019 BBC Newsnight documentary, Macron’s rise is discussed by a number of experts and political figures inside and outside En Marche, the French President’s party.
As part of the film, there was an interview with protesters from the Yellow Vest movement, one of which featured an angry look at the French President.
One protester said: “What he says doesn’t count for anything. If he wants to keep collecting and collecting taxes, it is a declaration of war – a war against the French people. “
The Yellow Vests are a populist movement campaigning for economic justice that began in France in October 2018.
They became notorious for large-scale protest marches in Paris that are still going on today.
The movement initially saw protests against the fuel tax, but that anger has spread to other issues.
Mr. Macron was also criticized by politicians.
Corinne Lepage, a former environment minister, said: “It struck me that En Marche is not really democratic, but that there are no real party elections.
“The reality is that power at the Elysee is more concentrated than ever and that this power is wielded almost exclusively by young men.
“They are all the same. They are all clones. “
However, Macron’s ally Nathalie Loiseau said: “I think we have had problems in this country for three decades, and at the moment when growth returns when unemployment falls, people on low wages are waiting for a positive impact, and they still don’t see it.
“I think it could have happened to another president, it could have happened elsewhere in Europe.”
READ MORE: Macron is attacked by a nurse for shaming France for Europe
Macron’s hopes for the 2022 election were hit hard in the local elections last May.
And the Marches were defeated in the Mayor’s race of Paris, and Green candidates won in several other major cities, making the French local elections a warning to the President.
One official in the party: “He didn’t like it. Neither from the public nor from party members.
“It is time you said it as it is.”
In addition, one minister said: “We have done almost everything that we should not have done. It can be a practical guide: “How to lose an election”. ”
The defeat also sparked speculation about Macron’s future in the French press.
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Left-wing publication Le Nouvel Observateur du Monde said Macron has been “dangerously weakened” amid growing disagreements within his party.
They said: “The President enters the new phase of consternation with fear in his heart because the situation has become ominous.
First, a group of LREM opponents suddenly appears in the National Assembly, reminiscent of the chaotic end to the presidency of François Hollande, who at the time was viewed as weakened by a handful of unintentional leftists.
“Will the scenario repeat itself today? … [The split in the party] points to a dissolution of the political landscape in the coming months without the president being able to mitigate the slightest shock. He can hardly be more vulnerable. ”
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