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    Elections in France: The firewall against Le Pen is growing, but is still full of holes – Politics


    Premieres, records, curiosities – many things are happening for the first time in French politics. This election period is so exciting and memorable, even for people with only a marginal interest in politics, that other major events pale in comparison, even the European Football Championship.

    It must be said that the BluesFrance's international player, have so far done little to distract with their uninspired performances. Unless, of course, they also talk about politics, more or less clearly. After Kylian Mbappé, the French superstar, and Marcus Thuram, son of the politically very active former player Lilian Thuram, the right full-back has now also come forward with a recommendation for the election. Jules Koundé, that is the man's name, called on the French after the game against Belgium to stop the Rassemblement National (RN) because it is dividing the country, that is his opinion. “Faire barrage,” he wrote on the platform X, that can also mean blocking or preventing, the meaning is always the same.

    The political landscape is divided into three major blocs

    Fair barrage is the most used term in France right now, after Marine Le Pen's far-right party and its allies achieved a historically high result in the first round of the early parliamentary elections: 33.2 percent of the vote. Now Le Pen's opponents are trying to prevent her from gaining an absolute majority in the new People's Assembly with a so-called republican front, a firewall. Jules Koundé is therefore a supporter of this project.

    In order for this to succeed, as many left-wing, centrist and bourgeois candidates as possible who had finished in third place had to withdraw from those races in which the votes would otherwise be wasted in favor of Lepenists by Tuesday evening.

    Such triangulari.e. triangular elections, there would have been more than ever before without withdrawals: 306. The previous record was 78, in 1997. This is partly because voter turnout was very high, almost 67 percent. In addition, the political landscape is divided into three more or less large blocks. In total, this favored an accumulation of triangular.

    The Macronists are divided, the conservatives are still keeping all options open

    That is why the number of those who sacrificed their personal ambitions and refrained from participating in the second round of voting, was greater than ever before. The newspaper The World reported 218 withdrawals, most of them from the left-wing alliance Nouveau Front populaire, which had announced that it would withdraw all third-place candidates. The centrist camp of President Emmanuel Macron, Ensemble, was somewhat less consistent. In some constituencies where a candidate from the very left-wing La France insoumise is better placed, it also kept its own candidates in the race.

    It is not clear what Macron himself thinks exactly. In a small circle, according to the French press, he is said to have said: The greatest danger comes from the extreme right, which is now on the verge of assuming high responsibility in the state. This is a remarkably late realization by the president. He also seems to no longer have his most important companions under control; everyone is singing their own song. “The president's voice is drowned out in this cacophony,” writes The WorldIt is as if his people are now paying him back for dissolving Parliament without first consulting them.

    The conservative Republicans, who only won 6.5 percent of the vote in the first round, said almost nothing about the “Republican Front.” They are keeping all options open.

    For many people in rural areas, the RN is a normal party

    But the question remains whether the electorate will actually follow the parties' recommendations and strategies. In the past, the reflex was always reliable, almost automatic: there were always enough French people who considered the former Front National unelectable, an imposition. But is that still the case today? With 10.6 million votes, the Lepenists are currently by far the largest party in France; for more and more people in rural areas, the Rassemblement National is a party like any other.

    It also seems uncertain how much left-wing voters will be willing to vote for candidates from Macron's camp to slow down the Lepenists – for example for former Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne in the sixth constituency of Calvados: everyone still remembers her as the head of government who forced the controversial pension reform through parliament by decree. Last winter, the Macronists also passed an immigration law that was very close in nature to the ideas of the extreme right.

    So how are people behaving in this unprecedented election sequence? The polling institutes are overwhelmed. Will many people stop voting on Sunday? Or, on the contrary, will more people vote than in the first round – depending on whether they see Le Pen in power as an opportunity or a threat? In any case, there hasn't been as much passion in French politics for a long time as there is now.

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