We are 3 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections.
The big debate is now over. It’s not my role here to make a review of the weaknesses and strengths of that exercise. There are plenty of articles and reviews that will closely analyze what really happened. At this point of the election, that’s not the most important aspect to observe; people seem to have made their decisions.
Overall, here is what I would say in some key points to summarize;
- Marine Le Pen was a lot more composed than 5 years ago and seemed happy about her performance, even though Emmanuel Macron put her in deep trouble. He especially evoked the loan that her party took from a Russian bank which happens to be very tied to leading political powers in Russia.
- Macron appears to have taken a lot more initiative during that debate and managed to corner the candidate from the Rassemblement National. He escaped a lot more scrutiny that his opponent could have used regarding the increase of national debt that took place during his mandate.
Overall, the debate was a lot more civilized than 5 years ago, but did not seem to go deep enough in some other topics such as the environment, energy and international politics.
This gave an opportunity to the 3rd Man of the election, Jean-Luc Mélenchon to complain how this debate was really a waste of time and how it could have led to a much deeper conversation.
In any case, 3 days away from the second round, the focus is really shifting to what many feel is going to be the 3rd round. That’s how Jean-Luc Mélenchon is already labeling the general election at the National Assembly on June 12 and 19.
Needless to say that many configurations are possible once the June 19 results are known for the National Assembly.
The Rassemblement National cannot openly discuss such maneuvers for what might happen after June 19 because Marine Le Pen remains focused on the second round of this Presidential Election. Her chances are higher than in 2017 but not high enough to really hope for a positive outcome. The most recent polls are a lot better for Macron who continues to see 56% of voters in his favor versus 44% for Le Pen. That’s a lot tighter than in 2017 where we saw 66.1% versus 33.9%, but not tight enough to give a clearer chance to Le Pen.
Mélenchon on the other hand feels a lot more free to start negotiations with other potential partners for the elections at the National Assembly, and it looks like he is now in a position to impose his rules a lot more easily.
We will examine in the next few days before that second round what kind of configuration the Rubik’s cube of partnerships can take after June 19, what it means for government policy and especially the deeper implications for Europe.
That’s what I wanted to share with you.
Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.