In polarized France, settlement threatens with Macron and his “rational center.”

In polarized France, settlement threatens with Macron and his “rational center.”

This has happened a lot in France in recent years. Democratic fatigue: Democratic exhaustion, which would have paralyzed the French and led to their withdrawal. Political parties had difficulty mobilizing their supporters, Trade unions It was empty. Electoral debates attracted fewer viewers than ever, even those for the presidential election. The French stayed home en masse during the elections, and the parliamentary elections bore the brunt: in 2017 and 2022, more than half of voters did not cast their ballots in the first round. Legislativemore than ever Since the establishment of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

A few days before the first round of the 2024 parliamentary elections, completely different numbers are circulating: according to Latest IFOP poll On this Friday, 67 percent of eligible voters plan to cast their ballots. That would be a turnout not seen in a similar election since the 1990s. There are more signs that people are politically awakened: unions are welcoming new members, leaflets are posted on every street corner in cities. These days, the word is mentioned in every conversation. Legislative. Has President Emmanuel Macron shaken French democracy with his unexpected decision to hold elections?

Macron has broken at least one cycle that has contributed to democratic fatigue. Since presidential terms were shortened from seven to five years in 2002, parliamentary elections have always been held immediately after presidential elections. Voting was therefore seen as essentially a meaningless way of confirming who you voted for in a presidential election. Since then, attendance has continued to decline each year. That timing has now changed: if Macron completes his current term (2022-2027), parliamentary elections will henceforth be held roughly halfway through a presidential term. This will make them possible from now on as a kind of Mid-term To apply.

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But it remains to be seen whether Macron’s decision will also lead to the outcome he wants in these midterm elections. The president had hoped to make these elections a choice between the “rational center” and the extremes—the right and the left. Initially, Macron believed that moderate left and right parties such as the Socialist Party and the Republicans would support this plan. But just a day after he called the elections, this assessment turned out to be wrong: the more moderate parties saw more benefit in working with the more extreme parties than in associating themselves with the deeply unpopular Macron.

This led to the creation of the left-wing coalition New Popular Front, consisting of parties from the hard-left LFI to the more liberal Greens and the Socialist Party. More than sixty parliamentarians from the Republican Party – which was once the right-wing government party – entered into an alliance with the far-right National Rally Party. The alliances do not appear to be very stable, but they provide greater electoral security than working with Macron. This is also evident in opinion polls: the National Rally (including members affiliated with the Republican Party) ranked first with 36.5 percent. The percentage of the left bloc is 29 percent. Macron and his followers follow him with 20.5 percent. Many French people who have indicated they will vote appear to want to do so mainly against Macron.

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That moderate Brittany is open to RN shows how risky Macron’s gamble is

The road to Per-sur-Sich.

The end of “macronism”?

The president himself appears to be downplaying how unpopular he is. This is evident in how the election campaign is conducted. Macron’s associates had begged him to stay out of the spotlight to help the campaign “de-dominance” – Prime Minister Gabriel Attal was therefore put in charge and, among other things, conducts the television debates. But the boss is everywhere: him He speaks With the voters, he writes letters to the people and attacks his political opponents In interviews.

Some media outlets are calling for it now The end of the macaroni Who – Macron’s principle of combining the ideas of the left and the right and thus attracting a wide range of voters. We can say whether Macron’s gamble will indeed herald the end of his political trend after the first round of parliamentary elections. The candidates for each constituency who will proceed to the second round (which is usually between two candidates) will then be announced.

If Macron’s candidates make it to the second round in several regions and face a radical candidate there (on the right or the left), Macron will ask voters to form a “Republican Front” to prevent any radical party from becoming too strong in parliament or even governing. If he listens to this, his plan still works. But then his candidates must end up in that second round.

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