Frexit outburst: Macron is an ‘EU puppet’, says rival – election humiliation looms

Macron says he knows ‘very well’ about British sovereignty

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Frexit campaigner Florian Philippot lashed out against Brussels’ inability to allow for change in France as the country prepares to go to the polls on Sunday. France holds elections this month for all 13 regional authorities on the mainland. For President Emmanuel Macron, however, the stakes are higher than who will get to build a tram in Brittany or high schools in Provence.

Les Patriotes leader and candidate Florian Philippot will run on a ballot fighting for France to leave the EU.

Mant voters are expected to fail to show up to vote due to political apathy.

Mr Philippot claimed this was a result of years of EU’s interference in French politics.

He blasted: “On the radio, French people interviewed on the reasons for abstaining: ‘We vote but nothing ever changes’.

“Yes it’s called belonging to the EU!

“It’s called politicians who are puppets and knowingly lie during campaigns!

“Frexit and it will be much better already!”

The next presidential vote is less than a year away. Polls show the contest is most likely to result in repeat of the 2017 duel between Mr Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen – only this time the gap between the two will be narrower.

The regional results do not give a representative snapshot of who will win the presidential vote.

However, if the far-right secures its first ever regional powerbase it would send tremors across the political landscape.

President Macron’s ruling La Republique en Marche (LaRem) is not expected to win any region outright, revealing the extent to which it has failed to plant roots locally.

For the conservative Les Republicains party, the challenge is to hold onto their seven regions and demonstrate they too can serve as a bulwark against the far-right.

They may be undermined in doing so if forced into second-round alliances with Mr Macron.

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The southern region encompassing Marseille and the French Riviera, with above average immigration and unemployment, has long given the far-right some of its best scores.

This time, polls show Le Pen’s ticket, headed by a former conservative minister, Thierry Mariani, could win the region that is home to Marseille, France’s second city, and tourist hotspots.

Mr Macron’s LaRem is too weak to win on its own as is the main conservative opposition party, Les Republicains (LR).

Even if all anti-Le Pen groups united, they may still struggle to beat Le Pen, one poll showed.

For Ms Le Pen, the vote is a test of her credibility and her success in detoxifying her party’s image and eating into the mainstream right’s vote ahead of a 2022 presidential election.

The far-right, which runs some ten town halls including the southern city of Perpignan, has never controlled a region, which come with multi-billion euro budgets and responsibility for economic development, high schools and transport.

Polls show the Rassemblement National, founded as the Front National by Le Pen’s father, ahead in six regions but likely to face a wave of alliance building and tactical voting in the second round to keep it out.

Ms Le Pen maintains her tough stance on security, Islam and immigration but has softened her vitriolic attacks on Europe, dropping her call for an exit of the euro single currency.

Her campaign to woo traditional mainstream voters comes at a time the electorate is wheeling to the right, but for many French voting for the far-right remains unimaginable.

Polls show the Rassemblement National securing about 26 percent of the vote in Sunday’s first round, similar to its score in 2015.

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