Macron sought clarity – and has brought his centrist project tumbling down

Macron sought clarity – and has brought his centrist project tumbling down

Angelique Chrisafis writes:

When Emmanuel Macron strolled through the seaside resort of Le Touquet on Sunday afternoon, near his holiday home, dressed in a leather jacket with his collar up and aviator shades, smiling and asking passersby how they were doing, he seemed a world away from the fact that his gamble of a snap election was about to dramatically backfire.

Macron had said he needed “clarity” three weeks ago, when he shocked even his own government ministers by calling a high-risk sudden parliament election after his centrists were trounced by the far-right National Rally (RN) in the European parliament vote.

By Monday lunchtime, when the French president gathered his advisers and ministers at the Elysée for crisis talks, he did have some form of clarity, but not the type he had been hoping for. It was clear that, after seven years in power, Macron had brought his centrist project tumbling down.

Macron had sought to wrongfoot the RN and the left with a lightning-speed, three-week election in which he believed he could frighten voters into backing his centrists by warning that a win by the far right or the left alliance would spark “civil war”.

Instead, Marine Le Pen’s far-right, anti-immigration RN, which for decades was regarded as a danger to democracy that promoted racist, antisemitic and anti-Muslim views and had to be kept out of mainstream politics at all costs, confirmed its steady rise in parliament. [Continue reading…]

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