Emmanuel Macron: Polls show Marine Le Pen's popularity risingThe French Finance Minister said on Saturday it was possible that far-right opposition
Emmanuel Macron: Polls show Marine Le Pen’s popularity rising
The French Finance Minister said on Saturday it was possible that far-right opposition leader Marine le Pen could win France’s presidential election in 2022 and he hoped President Emmanuel Macron would seek a second mandate and help prevent this from happening.
He told BFM television: “The election of Marine Le Pen, we all know that is a possibility.
“It is a political possibility and it must be opposed…I hope that Emmanuel Macron runs and is re-elected.”
Ms Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party, lost to President Macron in the 2017 election.
Opinion polls indicate she will be his main challenger in the election next year.
A recent poll put her as high as gaining 48 percent in the next election.
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Some believe the rise of the far-right eurosceptic is a direct result of Mr Macron’s attempts to win votes from the right.
Sociologist Ugo Palheta told France24: “The government is trying to reclaim the population’s trust by adopting much of the vocabulary and proposals of the far-right in a blatant attempt to win votes.
“This is what Chirac did in 1991 with his speech about ‘noise and smell’ and what Sarkozy did in 2007.
“And this is what Macron is doing today with a strategy that starts from the principle that the working classes are, above all, concerned with identity issues – while the reality is that they are actually suffering most from their social situation rather than their identity.
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“The problem is that, the further you extend your reach into the far right, the more the far-right progresses: Jean-Marie Le Pen won 18 percent in the second round in 2002, Marine Le Pen 34 percent in 2017, and a recent poll put her as high as gaining 48 percent in the next election.”
Asked whether Ms Le Pen’s victory was a real possibility, the sociologist replied: “Yes, we have to assess the situation as it stands today.
“Given the penetration of the ideas of the far-right in both the political and media fields – with more and more columnists representing this political ideology daily on our television stations – and the polling scores of the National Rally, it is a very real possibility.
“And this is all the more true because Macron continues to highlight the authoritarian drift of the state.
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“The neo-liberalism that he embodies is, necessarily, authoritarian.
“One cannot put in place a series of measures that greatly impoverishes the majority, that increases instability, without being contested.
“In the face of opposition, the authorities have adopted a very brutal strategy for maintaining order by repressing social movements, as we have seen with the Yellow Vest protests.
“In the past four years, Macron has helped the advance of the far right.”
Emmanuel Macron has been criticised for his handling of the pandemic
An IFOP-Fiducial poll for CNEWS and Sud Radio found 20 percent believe Ms Le Pen would manage the pandemic and vaccine roll-out a lot better than Mr Macron.
The survey also showed 22 percent thought Mr Macron’s former prime minister Edouard Philippe would do a better job if he was in power today.
The survey was conducted online between February 9 and 10 with a sample of 1,019 people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over.
Mr Macron has been accused of a lack of preparedness and vision as he struggled to get to grips with the epidemic, which has hit France particularly hard compared to some of its European neighbours.
A recent poll found French believe Le Pen would have done a better job than Macron
A poll carried out by the Odoxa institute showed 81 percent of people believe Mr Macron’s centre-right government “does not know where it is going” in terms of Covid planning.
The damning assessment of his administration’s performance comes after he last week defended his decision not to order a third lockdown in the face of a third wave of the virus.
The president said he felt confident that less severe curbs would drive down infection rates.
But his words offered little comfort to many French people who cannot see an end in sight while as the vaccine rollout crisis continues across the European Union.