We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.

December 11, 2017

A new era for the French right

Laurent Wauquiez is the new leader of Les Républicans. He was elected with 74.64% of the votes, so no second round is needed. His opponents Florence Portelli, former spokesman for François Fillon; and Mael de Calan, in charge of Alain Juppé's campaign in 2016, got 16.11% and 9.25% respectively.

After a year of unpredictable turns in French elections, including the two main party primaries, this was a straight-forward one. It delivered what was expected all along. In that sense, Wauquiez is already marking his difference from Emmanuel Macron. 

With nearly 100,000 votes, Wauquiez demonstrated that he can mobilise support. His unequivocal success will give him authority inside the party (remember Nicolas Sarkozy only got 64% of the votes), even if the overall participation rate of 42.46% was below the 52% seen last time. 

Wauquiez promised a new era for the right in France, and a renewal of the party with new faces, a new organisational structure and a new agenda, all to be rolled out in the next three months. Wauquiez called on the cooperation of those heavyweights, Xavier Bertrand et Valérie Pécresse, who did not endorse him. What will Alan Juppé now do? Or the other moderates? Will they stay inside the party, or join the Macron camp? The strong divergences with Wauquiez over Europe and national identity are obvious. The next few months will show how much divergence is actually possible under Wauquiez' leadership.

Wauquiez' aim is to face Macron in the presidential elections of 2022. With his red anorak reminding people of the railway workers from the SNCF, Wauquiez styles himself as the candidate of the provinces. Wauquiez has chosen to paint Macron as the president of the rich and of the cities, that fare well through globalisation. This could well work, writes Journal du Dimanche.

Show Comments Write a Comment

December 11, 2017

Growing scepticism of a grand coalition

What seems to be happening in Berlin at the moment is that Martin Schulz and his top team now want the grand coalition, but are despairing over their own party's absolute hostility to the idea. Newspapers are reporting that Sigmar Gabriel wants to become finance minister, which underlines suspicions that the SPD's senior ministers just want to hang on to their ministerial limousines.

Within the CDU, there are also know those who warn that the party should not sacrifice its principles by agreeing to a coalition at any price. Jens Spahn, a member of the CDU's executive committee, says that he would prefer a minority government in that situation. The SPD's newly elected general secretary, Lars Klingbeil, said that he was preparing the party for new elections - just in case. 

FAZ notes in a background article that the SPD's leadership will be formally seeking coalition negotiations. But there are voices in within it who believe that the CDU and CSU will be much more tougher negotiators than last time, since both Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer face internal party critics. These include Spahn, or the designated Bavarian prime minister Markus Söder, who are demanding a more conservative profile. The SPD's leadership has made promises to its own supporters that they may not be able to fulfil.

The developments in German politics support our view that a grand coalition is unlikely to be agreed or, if agreed, unlikely to be accepted by the SPD's members. But the party will have to go through the motions to arrive at that point.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.


Recent News

  • April 10, 2018
  • A mood of radicalisation in France
  • The German far right makes inroads into trade unions
  • On the absurdity of a new centrist party in British politics
  • October 12, 2017
  • Panicking in London
  • Gabriel's unbearable hypocrisy on the eurozone
  • April 15, 2017
  • Happy Easter
  • October 19, 2016
  • Walloons stand firm
  • Juppé and Macron - father and son?
  • J’ai vraiment dit ça?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • January 19, 2018
  • On the futility of discussing the German current account surplus
  • The Brexit revocation madness
  • Varadkar, the enfant terrible in the Brexit negotiations
  • September 14, 2017
  • Bravo Mr Juncker
  • ... what he said about the labour market
  • ... and what his speech means for Brexit
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 26, 2016
  • Will the refugee crisis return?
  • Montebourg en avant
  • Moisi on Sarkozy's chances
  • Binary choices
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 11, 2018
  • The end of the G7 - good riddance
  • Macron needs allies for his European agenda
  • Who is going to be the next director-general of the Italian treasury?
  • May 25, 2018
  • Rejected by US, Germany is turning towards China...
  • ...and France is turning to Russia
  • UK ties Galileo to security partnership
  • Germans are discovering miniBoTs
  • May 09, 2018
  • A moment of truth in the Brexit talks
  • A leap of faith, Mr Kierkegaard?
  • April 23, 2018
  • More bad news for the SPD
  • Will Theresa May accept a customs union? The Times says yes. We think so too.
  • A comeback for Marine Le Pen?
  • April 09, 2018
  • Orbán gets his supermajority
  • Riding the wave of resistance
  • The EU’s self-defeating strategy
  • March 26, 2018
  • On the run no more
  • Terrorist attack will challenge Macron
  • A double-whammy of geopolitical and financial uncertainty
  • March 12, 2018
  • German industry is starting to panic about Brexit
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • February 14, 2018
  • SPD nominates Nahles
  • Why the CEPR proposal won’t work for Italy in particular
  • Why cryptocurrencies are pointless
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • January 25, 2018
  • About political leadership in the 20th century
  • Progress in name dispute talks and new opposition at home
  • About 40% probabilities
  • January 17, 2018
  • Labour smashes No Brexit dreams
  • A new political bargain in Portugal?
  • January 10, 2018
  • Yes, the choice is between Canada and Norway
  • Who is resisting Macron and his government?
  • Greece and Macedonia to solve name dispute
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears
  • December 18, 2017
  • SPD regional party preemptively rejects grand coalition
  • Future of eurozone to be decided by March - we can hardly wait
  • December 14, 2017
  • Macron gives up on Euro reform... for now?
  • Refugee quota controversy hides disagreement over ultimate policy goal
  • Can't pay, won't pay
  • December 12, 2017
  • Unconventional ideas as a metric of the SPD's despair
  • Rodrik on why a fiscal union is necessary
  • December 11, 2017
  • A new era for the French right
  • Growing scepticism of a grand coalition