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04/04/2020
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FRANCE: Electoral victory will make Emmanuel Macron a potent force in Europe

  • But he will still have to face down a challenge from the street
  • A month ago he won the Elysée; on Monday his followers will win at least 400 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly. The French have risen up against a political class that failed them. They, and the rest of Europe, have put their hope in Mr Macron. Can he succeed?

 Paris, June 17.─ Florence Lehericy is a nurse, but on Monday she is likely to start a new career as a parliamentary deputy for Calvados, in northern France. Jean-Marie Fiévet, a fireman, will join her from a constituency in Deux Sèvres in the west. Both are political novices. They belong to La République en Marche! (LRM), the movement behind Emmanuel Macron, who last month also won his first ever election—and duly took control of the Elysée Palace. Welcome to the revolution!

Across France people have risen up against a political class that failed them (see article). The first round of voting for the legislature, on June 11th, suggests that LRM, which Mr Macron created only 14 months ago, will win at least 400 of its 577 seats. The Socialists will lose 90% of their deputies, including their leader who did not even make the run-off. The Republicans will hang on to more, but they expected to win this election—until a few weeks ago, when LRM’s victory became as inevitable as the blade sliding down the guillotine.

Mr Macron offers a fresh answer to the popular discontent that has swept through Western democracies. He promises a new politics that ditches divisions between left and right. He wants to restore dynamism and self-belief to France and, with Germany’s help, to the European Union. And he is being watched from abroad by politicians who, in their own countries, cannot seem to make themselves heard above the din. For his revolution to succeed, he needs to have good ideas and the ability to carry them through. Does he?

A different kind of rebel

Mr Macron is the right man at the right time ...

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