After the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential and legislative plenary sessions, we analyze together with the expert in French politics elizabeth carter the next challenges of the president. For Carter, who is an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire, the big question now is how Macron will manage to be “everyone’s president”. One of the keys to the results of past presidential elections was the disaffection of young people from France and is that “despite his young age, Macron is perceived as oblivious to the concerns of young French voters.” Today the main pollsters point to a record abstention.
What are Emmanuel Macron’s main challenges for the next five years?
The main challenges for Macron will be in his ability to push his agenda through what is sure to be a more hostile legislature… He believes that future French economic growth and stability will come from making some tough (ie unpopular) decisions. in the present. For example, he was able to push his retirement reform through the National Assembly (through his prime minister, Eduard Phillippe)… but the prime minister had to face a motion of no confidence (which was supported by both right and left). Macron positions himself as a radical centrist, the pragmatic reformist…. This means that he sometimes gets unpopular economic reforms passed. This is going to be much, much harder for him in the future… Many French voters voted less “for” Macron on Sunday and more “against” Le Pen. For the legislative elections, they will have options; Y more voters will vote “against” Macron. So your program will be hampered. In addition, voters see Macron as elitist, condescending and out of touch. He has lost the momentum and optimism that he had around him in 2017.
Because the young people prefer to vote for Le Pen or even not to vote?
Young voters feel that Macron does not press for their interests. Younger voters are especially interested in issues related to climate change and social equity. Although Macron talks about climate change, his politics still do not match his rhetoric. Young voters supported the left-wing candidate melenchon in the first round of the presidential elections, if they voted. The abstention rate among younger voters (both 18-24 and 25-34) was about double that of their older age groups. This indicates both the lack of enthusiasm for the candidates, and the lack of enthusiasm among young people for a strong presidential system. For those who did vote for Le Pen in the second round, it was often a vote against Macronwho, despite his young age, is perceived as oblivious to the concerns of young French voters.
How is Macron going to be the “president of all” as he promised after his victory in the presidential elections in April?
This is the question. Once again, after winning the elections, he claimed to be the nexus of a divided nation, and neither the right nor the left, but it is a more difficult claim to make than it was five years ago. If he’s going to be “everyone’s president,” he has to start by listening to the needs of his constituents and backing up promises with action. He will have to stop making provocative comments that reinforce his elitist image, whether by saying that he wants to piss off those who remain unvaccinated, or by suggesting an unemployed worker find a job “across the street.” He has to better respond to the challenges of daily life that affect the majority of the French population, especially the increase in prices. He needs to be more open and responsive to the concerns of the average French voter, and show him that his actions are improving his situation. Obviously, this is much easier said than done.