Rattled Macron calls for ‘change’ as he faces huge loss in Europe against Le Pen’s party

Emmanuel Macron is privately calling on his lieutenants to mobilise centrist voters as his party faces a humiliating defeat in the upcoming European elections.

A survey carried out by Ifop-Fiducial for the news outlets LCI, Le Figaro and Sud Radio online suggested the far-right National Rally, formerly led by politician Marine Le Pen, is enjoying 30 percent of the voting intentions – up one point since February.

On the other hand, 21 percent of the 1,112 people polled between March 19 and 20 said they currently intend to vote for Mr Macron’s Renew coalition – up two points since last month.

When it comes to left-wing forces, the list led by Socialist Raphaël Glucksmann obtained 11 percent of the voting intentions.

As he is dealing with a growing public deficit and the rise in popularity of his party’s political nemesis, the French President decided to host last week a private meeting in which he called on his allies to defend the positive track record of Renew MEPs, according to two participants.

One of the attendees claimed to Politico that Mr Macron said: “We need a wake-up call for our troops, we need to mobilise a lot more.

“Right now, there is more commentary than mobilisation, I would like that to change.”

The French President and his close allies have also seemingly decided to battle the National Rally on an ideological ground.

As the Russian aggression in Ukraine continues and Moscow has ramped up its anti-Western rhetoric, Renew representatives are accusing the National Rally of being complacent with Vladimir Putin.

Renew leader Valérie Hayer hit out at Ms Le Pen by comparing her with Edouard Daladier, the French Prime Minister who signed the Munich Agreement in 1938 that allowed Adolf Hitler to annex part of then Czechoslovakia.

She said: “It’s the same words, the same arguments, the same debates. We are in Munich in 1938.”

Similarly, Renew MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne said: “In some of its behaviours, the National Rally acts as a spokesperson for Moscow. If we’d have listened to the National Rally, we’d have Frexit, Sputnik vaccines and we’d have supported Russia.”

These blistering remarks come as Mr Macron has issued a series of warnings at the Kremlin since February, saying multiple times he would not rule out deploying NATO combat troops in Ukraine.

In early March, the French President urged the West “not to be cowards”, adding: “Is this or is it not our war? Can we look away from the belief that we can let things run their course?

“I don’t believe so, and therefore I called for a strategic surge and I fully stand behind that.”


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