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Macron must avert misfortune in 2027

More than 17 percent: the gap is still large between extreme right and the Elysee. But the task ahead for the re-elected President is extremely difficult, he has to close a deep rift in French society

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2022

"Macron has repeatedly said he was the only barrier between the French voter and populism".
"Macron has repeatedly said he was the only barrier between the French voter and populism".

N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column

More than 17 percent: the gap is still large between extreme right and the Elysee. But the task ahead for the re-elected President is extremely difficult, he has to close a deep rift in French society. The gap between the French ‘centre’ and the ‘periphery’ has grown further, as the gap between ‘the have’s’ and ‘the have-not’s’ did again.

Macron also has to take up his task in very difficult circumstances. The Ukraine crisis, which is driving up energy prices, will not be over in a few months. In addition, after the two covid years, the French budget is under pressure. Tax increases are not evident for the liberal Macron. The government seizure in France is already exceptional high.

Street protests can also be expected in France, Macron has announced to make a second attempt at pension reform in the autumn. Among other things, he plans to raise the retirement age to 64 by 2027. This is very sensitive for the French.

At the same time, Macron must also deliver on the promises he made to the Melanchon voters after the first round. They expect now a much more ambitious climate policy. The president has already announced that his new prime minister will be responsible for ‘ecological planning’. Will he again opt for a right-wing figure, such as Edouard Philippe in 2017 or Jean Castex in 2020? Or will he pull a leftist surprise out of his hat this time?

We see that the front against the far right is crumbling further. Twenty years ago, father Le Pen got 18 percent in the second round. Five years ago, Marine Le Pen raised that ceiling to 34 percent. And now she is adding another 7 percent. If she manages to do that again in 2027, a big problem looms.

Macron has repeatedly said he was the only barrier between the French voter and populism. That will no longer be the case in 2027. In France, presidents are not allowed to stay in the Elysee for more than two legislatures. The stakes will be high in 2027. Marine Le Pen was already preparing for another fight Sunday night.

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