Macron on brink as harder for President to secure re-election against surprise opponent

Emmanuel Macron may face 'harder' election opponent says expert

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The FT’s Phillip Stephens told Sky News that Emmanuel Macron and his party did badly in the regional elections. The political commentator added that instead of facing the biggest threat from far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, the French President may now meet a candidate from the traditional right in the second round of the 2022 Presidential election.

Mr Stephens said: “It is clear at the regional elections in France, Macron did badly, his party did very badly.

“It is also clear the traditional right in France has come back.

“It had been in complete disarray.

“So there is now a possibility that instead of facing Marine Le Pen in the second round next year in the Presidential election, Macron could face a more conventional right-wing opponent that would be harder.

“Only 35 percent of French voters turned out on Sunday, basically, it showed a complete lack of interest.”

Poor results for both President Emmanuel Macron and National Rally leader Marine Le Pen at the French regional elections have thrown fuel on the fires of speculation a different candidate could become President of France.

Following the poor outcome for both rivals, France24 suggested “anything is possible” at the election in 2022 as pressure mounts on the incumbent president.

France24’s Alison Sargent said: “The National Rally had hoped to win at least one region.

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“According to Libéracion what kept voters away was the party’s strategy of smoothing out their rhetoric trying to seem less extreme.

“[La Parisien] also writes that the party was really banking on that strategy of normalisation instead.. the National Rally was stopped in its tracks.”

She added: “Le Figaro is calling it a ‘double penalty’, a punishment for both Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. 

“The paper writes the president’s party was a mere ghostly presence in this regional vote.”

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The political commentator continued: “Emmanuel Macron is probably hoping that these results are not a sign of what is to come.”

Voter turnout was below 30 percent for the French regional elections. 

Mr Macron’s ruling Republique en Marche party failed to secure any of the twelve French regions.

While Le Pen’s fortune was equally poor as her National Rally party also failed to win a single region.

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