Macron backs right-wing hopefuls ahead of June polls

Macron also poached strong local right-wing personalities. EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL MAXPPP OUT [EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL MAXPPP OUT]

French President Emmanuel Macron has chosen to back several right-wing Les Républicains (LR) candidates in the June legislative elections, continuing his takeover of the now ailing traditional right-wing bloc. EURACTIV France reports.

After a tumultuous presidential election, the legislative elections in June are also slated to be eventful as the left-wing bloc, hopeful it could secure the prime minister seat after the election, has formed an alliance to compete against Macron’s La République en Marche.

Macron has not forgotten the moderate right-wing camp which lent their votes to him in the presidential polls, and with the deadline for nominations days away, has nominated a small dozen of outgoing LR deputies to run on the presidential majority ticket

Right-wing allies

Among those that Macron has picked are Constance Le Grip, Marine Brenier and Robin Reda, who until recently campaigned for the right and opposed Macron.

Éric Woerth, who backed Macron several months before the presidential election, was also nominated by La République en Marche.

Macron also nominated three outgoing deputies of thecentre-right party UDI, an ally of Les Républicains.

Macron also poached strong local right-wing personalities including Chanez Herbanne, Xavier Bertrand’s vice-president at the Hauts-de-France region, and Emmanuelle Haziza who in 2017 was a Les Républicains candidate.

Macron stalls on prime minister nomination

French President Emmanuel Macron is not expected to name the next prime minister before the end of next week although he is already being officially sworn in for a second term on Saturday (7 May), as several prominent figures have reportedly already turned down the job.

No nomination and no support

However, in some constituencies, the presidential majority did not nominate or support any candidate.

Among the constituencies left ‘vacant’, eight are today held by deputies of the LR-UDI alliance, including by LR group president Damien Abad, who is soon expected to join the presidential majority, and that of of Éric Diard, a deputy for Marseille.

The seventh constituency of the Loire-Atlantique is also left vacant. Franck Louvrier, another LR deputy and previously an adviser to ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, could again run under the majority ticket in La Baule as he did in 2017.

Pays de la Loire President, Christelle Morançais, previously seen by some as a potential prime minister said she would back Macron on “essential” matters without “rallying” to him.

Nothing new

This exercise is nothing new for Macron who in 2017 decided not to present opponents against moderate-right candidates, including Bruno Le Maire and Laure de La Raudière.

The two went on to join Macron’s presidential majority. Le Maire was appointed economy minister and de La Raudière was appointed to head the state’s electronic communications agency, ARCEP.

These appointments helped reinforce Macron’s performance among right-wing voters.

Candidacies for the legislative elections must be filed between 16 and 20 May, meaning the lists currently being circulated by the parties will likely only be subject to small changes.

France's traditional right in turmoil ahead of parliamentary vote

France’s formerly dominant right-wing party, Les Républicains (LR), will seek “no alliance” with re-elected centrist President Emmanuel Macron before the legislative elections in June, the party decided during a strategic council meeting on Tuesday (26 April). There have been no public statements since then.

[Edited by Benjamin Fox]

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