With the French election in 2022 little over a year away, French President Emmanuel Macron could face a big challenge from far-right rival Marine Le Pen. The leader of France’s Rassemblement National party is doing so well in the polls that she threatens to foil Mr Macron’s re-election bid. Arnaud Montebourg, a Socialist who was Mr Macron’s predecessor as economy minister under Francois Hollande, warned that “Le Pen will win.” He told the Financial Times: “It’s like the Trump phenomenon or the Brexit phenomenon.
“Macron is hated because he’s arrogant…He’s the one who will put Madame Le Pen in power.”
For years, criticism of the French President has been mounting as frustrations grow from the poorest in France.
In a 2019 BBC Newsnight documentary, Mr Macron’s rise was discussed by a series of experts and political figures from inside and outside En Marche, the French President’s party.
Corinne Lepage, a former environment minister, said: “I observed that En Marche wasn’t really democratic, in fact, there were no real party elections.
“The reality is that the power is concentrated at the Elysee more than ever, and that power is exercised almost exclusively by young men.
“They are all the same. They are all clones.”
Anne Faulda, author of ‘Emmanuel Macron: A Perfect Young Man’, said: “It wasn’t his culture that people disliked, it was his arrogance, and a sense he felt distant from them and that he looked down on them.”
The documentary also addressed the Yellow Vests – a populist movement campaigning for economic justice that began in France in October 2018.
They have become notorious for huge protests in Paris which are still occurring today.
The movement saw demonstrators hit out at fuel taxes initially, but this anger broadened to other issues.
A yellow vest protestor said in the documentary: “What he says counts for nothing. If he wants to keep raising and raising taxes then fine, it’s essentially a declaration of war – a war against the French people.”
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In fact, he claimed in his article for Politico that the French President “will need an economic miracle, and a lot of luck with the pandemic, to keep his crown”.
His claim came after a difficult year in France as a result of Covid-19.
An opinion poll by Elabe, released last month, surveyed a cross section of more than 1,000 French voters and found that 43 percent see a Ms Le Pen victory against Mr Macron as “probable” while a further five percent saw it as “certain”.