How Macron counts on building a majority
Now that Emmanuel Macron has to build a party from scratch, he faces a dilemma: how to comstruct a majority without being seen as compromising nor offensive. The choice of people without a proven political track record is one way of achieving this. And the list published yesterday confirms that half of the candidates are from civil society. As for the other half, they seem to have opted for the stick-and-carrot strategy: Macron-compatible Republicans got one more week to decide whether they want to jump boat or not. This is read as a signal that a Republican prime minister is in the cards. This is an overture which does not please François Bayrou's nor the Socialists in the movement. Manuel Valls is another example. La Republique en marche! softened its rhetoric against Valls, not integrating him into the movement but not to oppose him either. After a rude rebuttal, which made him the first scapegoat to demonstrate the party’s uncompromising determination, there comes the appeasement.
In total, 428 out of 577 candidates for the legislative elections were published by the party yesterday. There had been some wrong names and a first political crisis: Francois Bayrou was not happy at all about the list, and he made it publicly known that it does not have the consent of his party. He accused Macron of not respecting what they both had previously agreed. According to Le Figaro, Macron proposed Bayrou 70 districts of which 35 can be won. There were Modem candidates on the short list, though Ricard Ferrand, general secretary of the party La Republique on marche!, explained that when compared with En marche! candidates, the latter were considered more suitable. So no guarantees.
Another 148 districts are yet to be decided. These are districts with ‘Macron-compatible candidates' on the left and right. Among those are the districts of Republicans such as Édouard Philippe, Thierry Solère, or Bruno Le Maire. There are also no candidates yet in the districts of the Socialists Stéphane Le Foll, Marisol Touraine or Myriam El Khomri. There will also be no opposing candidate against Manuel Valls, a gesture of good will after the humiliating rebuttal of his candidacy to run for Macron’s movement.
Some more facts about this list as it was presented by La République en marche!: 52% are civil society, and the average age is 46 compared to the current 60. Only 24 are Socialists, who will have to forgo their party membership. The party vetted 19,000 applications. All candidates will spend next week together in training. Flash politics. Outcome unknown.