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Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen. Twitter

French centrist party faces implosion as RN’s Bardella rises

The challenge of the party of the Republicans in France is to win a majority in the National Assembly and impose a cohabitation to the new president. But the party is threatened with implosion.

Published: June 6, 2019, 9:37 am

    Paris

    There are those who are preparing to walk over to the side of Emmanuel Macron and to be excluded from the party, like the former candidate for the primary, Bruno Le Maire, or the mayor of Le Havre, Edouard Philippe.

    Those who want to stay on in the ailing party include Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Christian Estrosi, Xavier Bertrand and big loser Laurent Wauquiez. The divorce between the hard rightwingers and moderate rightwingers in the party could even erupt before the legislative.

    Building on its success in the European elections, National Rally MEP Jordan Bardella has meanwhile sharply criticized the Republicans.

    While the Republicans are currently mobilized around Gérard Larcher to rebound after the fiasco of the European elections (8.4 percent), Bardella tore into the party led by Laurent Wauquiez. Asked about it on Radio Classique this Wednesday, June 5, the MEP of the National Rally said: “The reality is that Republicans are dead, LR is being taken over by the centrists. That is why the voters turned away from this party.”

    Bardella believes the organisation of a “Great National Convention” of the right and center next October, is “yet another attempt to rescue a sinking raft”.

    In the context of the municipal elections of 2020, the National Rally “has been discussing with a number of local elected representatives for several months, and it is obvious that there is a very clear split within the Republicans”.

    There is a group of conservatives within the party who want to build consensus in municipalities with “majorities of common sense” says Bardella. But for the new strong man of the RN, the notion of a marriage between his party the Republicans is a little too restrictive.

    According to an Odoxa poll released Thursday, May 30 for L’Express, the popularity of Jordan Bardella (RN) and Yannick Jadot (EELV) have exploded after the results of the European elections.

    Jordan Bardella is one of the big winners of this survey. Leader of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen’s protégé earned himself an increase of 10 points. Notably, 18 percent of those surveyed say they are sympathetic to the young MEP.

    Republicans politician François-Xavier Bellamy, despite a score in the European elections below his expectations, is also a winner of this survey: he recovered with 4 points in his popularity rating.

    At the same time, only 30 percent (-2) of the French consider that Emmanuel Macron a good president. The head of state is returning to his January level, in the midst of the crisis of Yellow Vests, when 70 percent (+3) of those surveyed judged his action negatively.

    Édouard Philippe remains stable with 34 percent of good opinions. Finally, Marine Le Pen wins 2 points (28 percent) while Laurent Wauquiez saw big with a drop of 5 points (13 percent).

    Greens politician Yannick Jadot saw an unexpected success in the European elections with the Greens ahead of The Republicans.

    Building on this success, EELV became the third French political force behind the National Rally (23.3 percent) and LREM (22.4 percent). Member of the European Parliament since 2009, Yannick Jadot has since enjoyed a real wave of popularity.

    As indicated by an Odoxa survey for L’Express, FranceInter and the regional press aired on May 30, the elected 51 year old jumped 20 points (32 percent) in the ranking of personalities, an “unprecedented phenomenon”, according to Odoxa.

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