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

January 29, 2018

Where is the opposition in France?

The traditional parties are still in recovery mode and, after this weekend, the French media is wondering whether there will ever be a functional opposition to Emmanuel Macron. Those two political parties, still licking their wounds from the haemorrhage last year, are not yet fit to stand up against Macron and his government.

At the Les Républicains party congress on Saturday Valérie Pécresse appeared insisting that there are two rights not one, an announcement booed by the members. Her request for her movement Libres! to be associated with the party was confirmed, but only just and depending on a goodwill gesture by party leader Laurent Wauquiez, who asked the members to hear her out. Is she now Wauquiez' primary adversary inside the party? Will her role be to represent its moderate wing? Or was it a well-staged performance that could serve Wauquiez in the end? We will see.  

The Socialists avoided this kind of leadership challenge for now, and instead they are in the phase of choosing their candidates before electing a leader in two months' time. Some heavyweights put their name in the hat, others steered far away from the contest, and at least four new faces are in the game too. It is not hard to imagine a leadership contest with many different visions of what the PS should do now. 

So, Macron is still the one to dominate the French political debate. Will his omnipresence pay off? The first test with the voters were the two by-elections yesterday, in the two regions of Belfort and Val-d’Oise. Elections had to be repeated there after the June results were invalidated. The first round confirmed the victory of both of the candidates who won last time, one from Les Républicains and the other from La République en Marche. However, the candidate from Macron's party did less well than before, ahead only by 5pp points rather than 18pp as in June, Le Parisien reports. 

The Front National lost 5pp and 10pp compared with the June results, exiting the races with 10% and 7.5% of the votes. The party that once was feared to win the presidential elections has seen its support eroded after the departure of Florian Philippot, the former deputy of Marine Le Pen, who is now running running with his own party Patriotes which received 1% and 2% in these two by-elections according to LeLab.

Show Comments Write a Comment

January 29, 2018

Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia

The settlement of the Macedonian name dispute is quickly developing into a game of political poker. So, what are the risks and options?

Alexis Tsipras reportedly believes that, if an agreement with Macedonia is reached, it will be ratified by the Greek parliament without problems regardless of what Panos Kammenos' party Anel does, as only a simple majority is required. The difficulties for the two coalition partners will come after the vote. The hard-line position of New Democracy makes it nearly impossible for Kammenos to stay in the government if his requirements are not met, otherwise his party would crash out at the next elections.

Without Anel, Syriza will have to find a new partner to govern. Potami already said that they are not open to it unless there are new elections. Pasok has no appetite either. But Kathimerini's sources said that there could be a scenario where Syriza governs with the support of MPs who differentiate themselves from Anel's position.

The next crucial moment will be the rallies in Athens next weekend. If there is a strong turnout, including by politicians, Tsipras will no longer be able to ignore them, so the article.

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 09, 2018
  • Orbán gets his supermajority
  • Riding the wave of resistance
  • The EU’s self-defeating strategy
  • October 09, 2017
  • UK is starting to prepare for a no-deal Brexit
  • Why Germany will resist meaningful eurozone reform
  • April 13, 2017
  • Did Russia influence the Brexit vote?
  • All good between Germany and the US now?
  • October 18, 2016
  • The self-destruction of Francois Hollande
  • Brexit psychotherapy
  • At least three candidates for the PvdA leadership
  • The unbelievable hypocrisy of Mario Monti
  • 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 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
  • January 17, 2018
  • Labour smashes No Brexit dreams
  • A new political bargain in Portugal?
  • September 13, 2017
  • Why the Turkey negotiations will continue
  • May 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • 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 25, 2016
  • The costs of Brexit
  • Redefining corruption
  • Greek government shocked, shocked...
  • The costs of Brexit
  • Redefining corruption
  • Greek government shocked, shocked...
  • 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
  • July 20, 2018
  • Why preparations for no-deal Brexit are a positive development
  • On confirmation bias in the Brexit commentary
  • July 02, 2018
  • Is Trump out to destroy both Nato and the EU?
  • Salvini’s empire
  • Remembrance as a way forward?
  • June 13, 2018
  • Macedonia - a deal hailed internationally and challenged at home
  • Macron - elusive to the left
  • What did Theresa May concede?
  • 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
  • May 14, 2018
  • Catalonia: plus ça change...
  • Conveney says no to Brexit with border infrastructure
  • Why the noble Lords don't really matter
  • April 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in the UK
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • March 23, 2018
  • European Council supports UK more strongly than expected on Russia
  • Eurozone policy renationalisation is not the solution
  • The state of macro is not good
  • March 14, 2018
  • The geopolitics of trade war
  • A European labour authority
  • On Novichok
  • March 06, 2018
  • Will Italy exit the eurozone? Of course not. But it's the wrong question.
  • Slovakia's political crisis
  • Are we heading for a trade war?
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • February 19, 2018
  • SPD divided over grand coalition
  • Wauquiez - the French Trump?
  • Why Brexit will be extremely hard to reverse
  • February 13, 2018
  • Will Zijlstra survive Dachagate? Will Rutte III?
  • Costa's initiative to cover Brexit shortfall
  • February 09, 2018
  • Is the Labour Party shifting towards a customs union?
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • February 01, 2018
  • How Brexit can still go badly wrong
  • Two presidents - one elected, another challenged in first round
  • January 30, 2018
  • Will Puigdemont be Catalan premier today?
  • Some thoughts about the German car industry
  • A short note on Italian coalition maths
  • January 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia