September 10, 2018
Steadfast Juppé stays true to embattled Macron
Public opinion is turning against Emmanuel Macron, as the latest polls show his popularity dropping down to only 31%. This is less than what François Hollande had at this time, according to l'Opinion. The same character traits the French liked about Macron in the beginning are now increasingly seen as defects. The notoriously impatient French public fails to see the results of his presidency, and starts to shift its perspective. Will the heroic legend turn into political tragedy?
The opposition parties take advantage of Macron's current weakness while moderates on the right question the support they so willingly granted only last year. There is however one senior figure who stands out and sticks to his line: Alain Juppé. Over the weekend, he met with his friends to discuss the future relationship with the president. Juppé made his preference clear: helping wherever possible at home and abroad. Will there be a common list for the European elections with LREM? Juppé leaves this question open, which in itself is good news for the executive. He ruled out leading the list himself, building up instead, as the French press writes, his authority as the elder sage in the background. Juppé also draws on the political weight he derives from being one of the personalities most representative of and respected within the moderate right of the political spectrum (58% in the polls), according to Libération.
As Juppé reaffirms his support, the rest of the political landscape has hardly changed as opposition to Macron remains both fragmented and weakened, concludes Cécile Cornudet. Even the firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon seemed softened after meeting Emmanuel Macron in Marseille last weekend. Marine Le Pen may continue her attacks, but her financial difficulties are such that in an extreme scenario they could be the end of her party. As for the embattled Socialists, they are at the same time courted and pressured on the left by Mélenchon and prevented from finding their own new space due to the omnipresence of François Hollande who refuses to leave the stage.