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    Macron's Popularity Slump Caused by Economic Downturn, Unemployment - Scholar

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    French President Emmanuel Macron has suffered yet another setback, with his political adversary Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National overtaking his own En Marche party in national opinion polls.

    Sputnik spoke with Gino Raymond, Professor of Modern French Studies at the University Of Bristol for more insight on the issue.

    Sputnik: Why has Macron’s popularity decreased so much?

    Gino Raymond: You’ve got to be careful what you’re comparing things to, because when you look in terms of voting intentions with regard to the European elections next May; those voting intentions are very different when it comes to legislative elections and especially Presidential elections.

    The European elections have always been a perfect opportunity for French voters to find a stick with which to beat the government, so in that respect they are a perfect example of what French political scientists call elections sanctions, which basically means a way of punishing the government for failing to deliver.

    Since Macron’s election; the people have been waiting, as he came in on a promise of change, modernisation and reform, but those fruits have yet to come through, so the elections next May; if the polls we go by are reasonably accurate, you will see a considerable surge in votes for the Rassemblement, to the detriment of La Republique en Marche, but these results will not translate into voting intentions when it comes to more important domestic elections, such as municipal, regional, legislative and Presidential elections.

    Sputnik: Could Macron win a second term?

    Gino Raymond: A week is a very long time in politics. His problem is; when you come in on a promise of change, you need to deliver. The difficulty for him is that the promise of the previous twelve months, for example the French economy grew at 2.2% las year.
    The difficulty this year is that those crucial indicators have taken a downturn.

    The recent survey by the French statistical office suggested that growth this year, will be no more than 1.6% and that’s a significant downturn in growth.

    Unemployment is still hovering around 9%, they’re hoping that it will come down to 8.9%, but that’s still very high, especially with youth unemployment.

    Virtually every week now French voters are seeing on their televisions, the very great difficulties in those suburbs, where they have high unemployment, especially youth unemployment and the kind of social disorder it’s creating.

    Only last week there was more news footage of youngsters as young as thirteen and fourteen setting fire to cars, and setting fire to municipal bins, you’ve had some infamous fights, particularly in the northern suburbs of Paris where kids in their early teens are fighting with metal bars, so the failure yet to deliver on the economic promise is costing Macron very considerably.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Gino Raymond and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

     

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    economic downturn, economy, setback, popularity, Gino Raymond, Emmanuel Macron, France
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