Macron’s second term ‘will be making of him’ says McTernan
All seemed to go well for Mr Macron when he won five more years in France‘s top job with a convincing victory over rival Marine Le Pen. But fate turned against the 44-year-old leader after he lost his absolute majority in parliamentary elections last month, meaning his decision-making is now tightly linked to the two biggest opposition parties – the radical left-wing Unbowed France and Ms Le Pen’s populist National Rally.
In addition to the challenge of dealing with his rival’s determination to pass legislation in line with their own agendas, Mr Macron is being confronted with further hurdles – namely, the French’s dissatisfaction over his tenure.
An Elabe poll published on Wednesday showed nearly one in two people in France are unhappy with him, while 12 percent are “satisfied”.
Out of those with difficulties making ends meet, 57 percent said to be “disappointed”, while 54 percent of working-class respondents have a particularly negative view of Mr Macron.
Commenting on the findings, Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot said Mr Macron should quit.
He said: “His resignation is fast approaching every day, he has neither legitimacy nor a majority, he must go. The sooner the better!”
50 percent of French are ‘unsatisfied’ with President Macron, a new poll shows
It was the second time in a week Mr Philippot called for the president’s resignation.
In the wake of the publication of the Uber Files, he said: “Macron must resign! He betrays France, its companies, the State, justice, the people! Out!”
The files are the result of an investigation by a consortium of media which claim Mr Macron held several undeclared meetings with executives of the online transport giant Uber while he was economy minister.
According to the reports, a “secret deal” entailed Mr Macron promising to help the taxi app work around legislation introduced in 2014.
An Ebole survey conducted in early March, two weeks after the start of the war in Ukraine, found his image had improved significantly since 2019.
But four months later and in the aftermath of the general election, the president has not managed to sustain those gains.
Signs of protest against Mr Macron and Marine Le Pen ahead of the final presidential vote in April
According to participants of the Ebole study, there is no hope Mr Macron will change the least-liked aspects of his leadership, with 74 percent — six percentage points more than in March — expecting his style to remain the same as in his first term.
Two-thirds of French people believe that what divides them is stronger than what brings them together – a figure that has remained steady since October last year.
Meanwhile, voters’ priorities significantly differ depending on who they back.
The only common winner is purchasing power, which all those interviewed described as a key matter.
For Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s supporters, this is followed by the environment and ecology (41 percent), health (33 percent) and social inequality (30 percent).
Emmanuel Macron height: How tall is the French President? [INSIGHT]
Covid horror: WHO chief calls for return of masks [WARNING]
EU slammed as major U-turn on policy ‘harsh to Northern Ireland [ANALYSIS]
The 44-year-old leader failed to secure a parliamentary majority in June
For Ms Le Pen’s, the most important factors to be looked after are immigration (44 percent) and security (32 per cent).
And for Mr Macron’s, not far from Mr Mélenchon’s, health (41 percent), environment and ecology (25 percent) and pensions (24 percent) top the list of elements to be tackled.
On the health front, the president was dealt a blow on Wednesday as opposition politicians blocked the reintroduction of Covid passes for tourists.
One of the first bills put to parliament by Mr Macron’s new government, which intended to reinstate the health pass for travellers entering France, was rejected.
The vote saw the three main opposition parties — the far-right National Rally (RN), the hard-left La France Insoumise (LFI) and the right-wing Republicains (LR) — unite to defeat the minority government by 219 votes to 195.
The episode served as a first example of the barriers Mr Macron’s team could face after failing to secure control of the National Assembly to pass new laws.
François Braun, the country’s health minister, lamented that an “alliance of circumstances” had led to the blockage of a measure intended to fight against the pandemic.
Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne also condemned the rejection.
She said: “The situation is serious. By joining together to vote against the measures to protect the French against Covid, LFI, LR and RN prevent any border control against the virus.
“After the disbelief on this vote, I will fight so that the spirit of responsibility wins in the Senate.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega