Macron criticised for ‘snubbing’ France in favour of EU
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Mr Shields, a lecturer at Cambridge University, said Emmanuel Macron would rather stand down from a second term in Elysée Palace before he is forced to. He told Express.co.uk: “He has not yet made a formal declaration of running and frankly I would be surprised if he does decide to run because he wants to secure his place in history.
“A one-term president who elected and made his own decision not to run a second time rather than a one-term president who was defeated when he tried for a second term.. history will be kinder to the former.
“I think he would lose. I look at his plummeting ratings and the opposition across the political spectrum in France to him from both left of his position and right are going to make it very difficult for him to win.”
“He has suffered a slump in popularity of almost breathtaking proportions.”
His scathing comments come after a recent poll found centre-right Les Republicains party candidate, Valérie Pecrésse tying with President Macron in a second round of the 2022 presidential election.
Chosen to run last month by rank-and-file members of the conservative Les Republicains party, voter surveys show Ms Pecresse could beat Mr Macron in April’s election.
If she succeeds, she would become France’s first woman head of state.
The Elabe poll conducted for BFM TV and L’Express put Mr Macron in the lead in the first round of voting, albeit down 3 percentage points from before at 23 percent, though above 17 percent each for Pecresse and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
But it found that if Ms Pecresse made it through to the second round final vote she would tie with Mr Macron, with both scoring 50 percent.
Mr Macron promised to redraw the landscape of French politics when he was elected in 2017, but since then he has struggled to unite its centre-right and staunchly conservative factions.
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Mr Shields said the French President had“ failed to deliver” a new vision for France.
He said: “French politics has always been fairly volatile, fairly fluid and fairly split but nothing at the extent it is in present in my view.
“There has been no new great adventure for Macron to undertake. The EU project was all but finished – fairly stable, there was no great war for France to be involved in military terms.
“He didn’t seem to have anything approaching a visionary reformist agenda for internal politics.
“He is very much an establishment creature and I think he has failed to capture the French imagination.
“Based on my interpretation of French politics and the French love of excitement, Macron has failed to unify the French people around a single cause, has failed to find something that marks out his presidency as being unique and different in the way all his predecessors have done.”
Mr Shields predicted the elections would see a run-off between Ms Pecresse and Ms Le Pen.
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