French Right Sets Sights on June Legislative Polls After Close Runoff Election

© Sputnik / Флоран Гуден / Go to the mediabankFrance is holding the second round of its presidential election
France is holding the second round of its presidential election - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Thierry Mariani, a foreign policy adviser to French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen, said that her National Rally needed to bring the right political forces together in preparation for the June parliamentary elections.
"The right is in tatters, and we need to reunite the different groups," Mariani, a member of the European Parliament, told Sputnik.
The right could easily have 40% of the vote if the National Rally joined forces with Eric Zemmour’s Reconquete, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s Debout la France, and Jean Lassalle’s Resistons, and drained votes from the conservative The Republicans and left-wing La France Insoumise of Jean-Luc Melenchon, Mariani predicted.
He said Macron could turn this trend around if he pushed the legislative polls forward to May to use the post-election honeymoon period to improve the fortunes of La Republique En Marche at the ballot box.
Macron’s victory on Sunday was dampened by a far narrower lead over Le Pen than during their 2017 face-off and a record low turnout of 72%, including more than 8% of blank or spoilt ballots.
Mariani said Macron owed his victory to a "sickening" campaign of "building a dam" against Le Pen, led by subsidized press, trade unions and state-backed associations.
"It is ridiculous but it still works especially since the mainstream media were very strident about this ‘dam against the extreme right’," he said.
Mariani warned that Macron’s triumph at the parliamentary elections could usher in another five years of unopposed reign without any democratic counterweight.
Macron secured a second term in the Sunday runoff with 58.54% of the vote against Le Pen’s 41.46% but still faces the challenges in the legislative elections on 12 June and 19 June, which will determine how much of his agenda he will be able to navigate through parliament.
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