Marine Le Pen 'threatening Macron in elections' says expert
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French President Emmanuel Macron assumed office in 2017 after beating rival Marine Le Pen by more than ten million votes. However, Mr Macron’s time as president has been tarred by a number of demonstrations which have affected his popularity. This year protestors demanded Mr Macron ditch controversial plans for vaccine passports, with critics deeming the policy to be an infringement on individual liberties.
Earlier in 2021 French motorists were also stung by a sudden increase in fuel prices and had to pay 16 percent more for petrol than at the start of the year, while the cost of diesel increased by 12 percent.
According to Politico’s Poll of Polls, the president is projected to take 25 percent of the 2022 vote share in the first round of voting, but so is Ms Le Pen.
While the second round of voting projects Mr Macron to gain 56 percent of the vote compared to Ms Le Pen’s 44 percent, the race is still significantly tighter than the 2017 election.
A political expert has suggested a win for Ms Le Pen is a distinct possibility and would prove disastrous for the EU.
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The National Rally leader abandoned plans for Frexit in 2019 but remains ardently eurosceptic and if she were elected to office the consequences could be “ruinous” for the bloc.
Cambridge professor John Keiger said in The Spectator: “In the event of a Marine Le Pen victory, Brussels may regret the RN’s abandonment of Frexit.
“The prospect of a hostile France constantly at loggerheads with Brussels would be a ruinous blow to the EU.
“The new French administration will cry foul and incriminate France’s europhile deep state, but the process will also be leadened from the Brussels end.
“A cold war between France and the Berlaymont will make Brexit seem amicable.”
Mr Kreiger also stressed that with Le Pen at the helm the EU would see a number of divisions between member states.
He said: “Then there is the question of how member states will react to this newly led France.
“Marine Le Pen will find support from the likes of Poland, Hungary, Austria but considerable opposition from Germany and the liberal states.
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“The Franco-German motor of deeper integration will seize up.”
Mr Keiger also said that the possibility of a Le Pen victory was becoming more realistic.
He added: “The traditional republican front against the radical right is crumbling and the stigma of voting Le Pen is diminishing.
“More of the electorate are coming round to the Rassemblement National’s views on national sovereignty, immigration, crime and security, and – with Brussels’ shambolic management of the pandemic – on the EU itself.
“The international organisation with the most to lose is the EU.”
The first round of voting in the French presidential election is due to take place on April 10 next year.
Should no candidate win a majority as is likely, a runoff will be held between the top two candidates two weeks later.
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