Monday, February 27, 2017

Has Macron Stopped the Bleeding?

A new poll (h/t Hugo Drochon) shows Macron closing in on Le Pen in round 1 and well ahead of Fillon. This no doubt reflects a strong urge to voter utile on the part of those disappointed by the disunion of the left (see previous post) and motivated primarily by a wish to stop both Fillon and Le Pen. Macron has counted on this dynamic all along. The one thing he could not have foreseen was Juppé's defeat by Fillon, which only reinforces the push toward the center. But the disarray on the left was foreseeable no matter which candidate emerged. Hollande would have been even more divisive and less attractive than Hamon. Valls was dismissed by many as "the Sarkozy of the left." And Montebourg could never have obtained Mélenchon's support.

Two years ago, who would have proposed Macron as the favorite to be the next president of France? No one except Macron himself.

11 comments:

Squigglle said...

This evening's Paris Match shows MLP 26%, EM 24.5%, FF 20% in the first round. Macron should be alright - as long as more of the anti-far right voters don't get complacen and vote for Hamon or Melenchon.

Squiggle said...

Never drunkenly type on your tablet, Squiggle.

bernard said...

Macron is catching up on Le Pen and now statistically not different. What a beautiful event it would be if he actually came in first on election day, which is possible if some electors of Hamon realise the possibility is there, really a beautiful up yours answer to Trump and Brexit. Hope is in the air.

bernard said...

Incidentally, Macron is also gaining in second round polling and presently stands at 62/38 against Le Pen in the IFOP rolling barometer.

Art Goldhammer said...

And Cohn-Bendit is backing him: http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/article/2017/02/26/emmanuel-macron-engrange-deux-nouveaux-soutiens_5085883_4854003.html

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Mitch Guthman said...

I am pleased to see that there's an alternative to the extreme right, as represented by FF and MLP. What I worries me is that this will be the second presidential election in which France has apparently chosen a president not because of who he is and what he believes but simply because of who he isn't. And I am especially baffled by Macron somehow becoming that neither FF nor MLP candidate.

My other worry is that Macron's early polling won't hold up under pressure. Right now, he's an undefined and undefinable centrist who is bedazzling the chattering classes with his zen like 'ni-ni' platitudes. But at some point, he's either going to have to define himself or else risk being defined by MLP.

If Macron is simply François Hollande with a smoother line of bullshit, and if MLP runs as the candidate of center left economics and moderate nationalism instead of extreme right "blood and soil," I think it's an open question of whether the French are willing to essentially give Hollande a second term. In which case, Marine Le Pen can win

FrédéricLN said...

"Two years ago, who would have proposed Macron as the favorite to be the next president of France? No one except Macron himself." Actually not me. For the record, Jean Lassalle proposed Macron as a favorite, or more precisely, as his own most serious competitor, around last April.

FrédéricLN said...

BTW, I wonder whether pundits ;-) noticed what these polls mean: for the first time since 1848*, the two major parliamentary parties (plus their nearest allies, EELV and UDI, altogether around 525 seats / 577 at Assemblée) would be beaten at first round, and leave the second round to two "outsiders" (in different meanings of the term).

*ok, we had no Presidential election with direct popular vote between 1948 and 1965, but I don't remember a similar configuration during general elections under IIIrd and IVth Republics.

I will add that these two are not my favorite candidates, and many other caveats; still, it means that presently, a broad majority of French voters would happily prefer a President without a parliamentary basis, or party-political in the, say, IIIrd-Republic meaning of the word.

Which was, from my specific militant point of view, a prerequisite for the success of the campaign I'm running in.

Alexandra Marshall said...

Mitch, did you read Macron's economic program? I don't think unknowability is the same problem for him now that it was a month ago. Perhaps he's less easily placed on the spectrum as we usually draw it for an instant read, but that's sort of the whole point for him, and one bit of his sparkly branding that seems to be key to his fans. There are some ideas in his platform you'd never see from Hollande (making benefits portable) and lots you absolutely would (branch vs company accords, what to me look like cosmetic changes to chomage, etc). He is for sure the closest thing to Hollande on offer, but wasn't Hollande's biggest mistake his crazy bait and switch mid-term (followed by his lack of backbone against Merkel and the EU)? Would people have voted for an open social democrat, rather than the guy who hated finance and was going to take on Germany, opposite Sarkozy? I think so. Maybe I'm wrong there but I think so. I think a ham sandwich with good grammar would have won against Sarkozy in 2007.

Meanwhile did you see MLP yesterday, threatening to go after fonctionnaires who prosecute the FN? She is not playing to the center at this moment. And all the while FN corruption stories are the flavor of the week. Forward-looking Marine of the état providentiel who is the only one that's got your back is a tough sell when she's in a nasty defensive crouch making wildly anti-democratic threats while tapping the contribuable.

Alexandra Marshall said...

(oops: I meant 2012. time flies.)