What is happening to Macron
The analysis of the essayist Alberto Toscano, expert on France, for International Affairs

Observing the electoral results, on Sunday evening on TV, the French noted the link between these regional elections and the future presidential elections. 8pm, with the announcement of the results, had only been a couple of minutes later and already the outgoing-incoming president of the Hauts-de-France region, Xavier Bertrand, was rushing in front of the cameras to comment on his success with a speech based more on national politics than on local politics. With the vote of the last two Sundays closed, with the renewal of the administrations of regions and departments, France is now in the atmosphere of the elections that most count in the eyes of its inhabitants: the presidential elections next April. Even the very low rate of participation in this last consultation (only one in three rights holders) shows that everything revolves around the presidential elections.
However, important considerations emerge from the regional ballot boxes. The two-round electoral system is clearly remodeled on the basis of the “Rn factor”. Everything changes depending on whether or not the far right of the Rassemblement national (Rn) manages to bring its candidate to the second round of an important election. If this happens, the electoral system becomes de facto one-round, given that the other candidate has the near certainty of success in his pocket. The regional results show that – in the major political consultations – an “unwritten rule” (a “glass ceiling”) prevents the French far right from taking power because others isolate it and join forces against it. This also happens when (as was the case in the Paca region,THE NEW SCENARIOS
The presidential elections of April 2022 will in fact be a one-round election in the event that Marine Le Pen manages to qualify for the final ballot, while it will be a true two-round election in the hypothesis that remain excluded. Up to these regional ones, the Rn was generally described as a party on the rise, strengthened by the protest movements that agitate the transalpine society in a sort of perpetual motion. Now Marine Le Pen suffers the hardest defeat since she took over the leadership of the far-right party ten years ago in place of her father Jean-Marie. The predictions about a “2022 remake” of the film that aired in 2017 – with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the second round – could therefore be built on sand.
These regional provinces have shown that the old parties have by no means disappeared. The “historical right” of the Republicains (ex Ump) is very strong in the area. It had seven regions and has recaptured them all more easily than in 2015. If the Republicains do not commit suicide in power wars, they will have a good chance of taking their candidate (or candidate) to the ballot for the Elysée. The Socialists, who looked like an endangered species after the 2017 presidential elections, had five regions and recaptured five. It is really very difficult for the left to bring its own candidate (or candidate, given that we are talking about the socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo) to the presidential ballot. But, ten months before that deadline, such a hypothesis must still be taken into account.THE CARDS OF THE NEGOLLISTS
It remains to measure the real strength of President Macron in the country. On the local level, his party La Republique en Marche (Lrem) is a disappointment, as these recent elections have shown. The 13 regions of the European territory of France went to the right, to the left and (in the case of Corsica) to the autonomists. The macronists – who dominate the national scene – could hardly have come out worse than this from this electoral round. Today, however, Macron’s power remains solid and his popularity is comforting. His personal credibility weighed heavily in a presidential first round.
Today more than a month ago it is plausible that the final challenge for the Elysée, next spring, will see the outgoing president and a candidate of the traditional right juxtapose. A great deal will depend on the ability of the Republicains and their political area (Xavier Bertrand is no longer part of this party) to find a solid agreement between them in view of the presidential elections. Their final choice will be in November. They don’t have much time to do it.
Article published on affarinternazionali.it

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