Michel barnier, a former European Union Brexit negotiator, confirmed late Thursday that he would participate in the likely primaries of his center-right party for next year’s French presidential elections.
“In these dark times, I made the decision to run for the French presidency, to be president of a reconciled France,” Barnier told TF1, France’s most watched television channel. The 70-year-old former French foreign minister, too, seeks to scratch votes from President Macron among the center-right pro-European electorate.
France is experiencing a serious attack of inflation of candidacies for the presidency of the Republic: three conservative candidates, five environmental candidates, two extreme right-wing candidates, one socialist candidate and
a far-left candidate aspire to replace Emmanuel Macron in the Elysee palace.
Political inflation that oscillates between the decomposition of the national political landscape and fratricidal insignificance.
All polls and sociological studies confirm that France is today a conservative or very conservative country in search of a conservative president capable of avoiding the fearsome national “decline”, a friendly face of the specter of decadence.
On the right, three first candidates aspire to the candidacy of the Republicans (LR, historical right, the party of Nicolas Sarkozy) to the presidency of the Republic: Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts de France region, the best placed in the polls, Valerie Pécresse, president of the Ile-de-France region, the first conservative woman to hopefully aspire to head of state, and Michel barnier, former European Commissioner, the worst placed in the polls. It is not possible to rule out a new candidate, at the right time.
If LR manages to avoid division and choose a single candidate, the chosen one will have many possibilities.
On the left, the PCF and the PS are experiencing the most serious crises in their history. Only Anne Hidalgo, born in the province of Cadiz, mayor of Paris, appears as a possible socialist candidate. If no penultimate rivals appear.
To the extreme left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, with a Murcian family background, aspires to lead the populist left. He is a fearsome rival.
Macron, in an advantageous position
To the extreme right, Marine Le Pen is the natural candidate. For the first time in history, polls estimate that the extreme could win the head of state. Hypothetical possibility, for now.
Marine, as her supporters know her, has lost a certain amount of steam. And he runs the risk of the confirmation of a new and possible ultra-conservative candidate, Éric Zemmour, controversialist, columnist, author of books very conservative radical populism. If her candidacy progresses, Le Pen would suffer from a fearsome rivalry for her.
The environmentalists, for their part, have five potential candidates, Eric Piolle, Delphine Batho, Yannick Jadot, Sandrine Rousseau and Jean Marc Governatori… many candidates for a modest electoral strip.
That cloud of candidates favors to some extent the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron, which has two potential advantages: the division of the traditional right and the emergence of a new populist far right.
Many of those candidates will disappear slowly or quickly. They all embody something like a decomposition of the traditional political landscape, in the process of profound metamorphosis. Traditional right and left will have to reinvent themselves to continue to exist and be able to rival Emmanuel Macron.