In 2017, Emmanuel Macron – became the youngest French president in history. However, unfortunately, his boundless reformist zest, which was supposed to transform France, came to a screeching halt due to a pandemic in 2020-21. So, with the 2022 presidential election looming on the horizon, can Macron win again or is he condemned to join his two predecessors in the presidency of a club mandate?
At first glance, he seems in a good position to succeed. Its popularity, deeply affected by social unrest in 2018 and 2019, has recovered since COVID-19 forced France into its first lockdown in March 2020. It now maintains an approval rate of 40%, a figure much higher than its two predecessors at this stage of the presidential mandate do. Given the notoriously low popularity of politicians in France, Macron would be entitled to believe that he has a good chance of becoming president again.
However, his current rating is misleading. A recent poll has misrepresented any idea Macron would take the win, suggesting only 23.2% of the electorate would vote for him, behind far-right candidate Marine. Le Pen at 26.4%. The well-known effect of “rallying around the flag” in times of crisis does not necessarily equate to France’s demand for a second Macron term.
The pandemic has undoubtedly forced him to reinvent himself. He has attempted to erase the deeply held image of an arrogant, pro-business president who ignores the needs of ordinary citizens instead of presenting himself as the nation’s protector, ending his reform frenzy and committing to saving the economy, no matter the cost. However, its handling of the pandemic has been marred by many controversies,
Gaps have created a potent mix of frustration, anger and anxiety that may well come back to haunt him in 2022.
The old saying goes that anything can change in a year. Must take more than ever into account in a world disrupted by COVID-19. A quick resolution of the health crisis and a solid economic rebound would put Macron in a good position. At the same time, a prolonged return to regular and unfavorable comparisons with other countries would likely thwart his chances. However, competent management of the pandemic followed by economic sluggishness would make it vulnerable; voters might not give him credit for dealing with the health crisis if unemployment soars. Reading tealeaves suddenly appears much more manageable than predicting the effects of the pandemic on the 2022 election.
How to bet on french election? This strategy worked well in the 2019-20 European elections, with a devastating defeat for the Republican candidate (the Republicans), leaving Macron’s party in second place, neck and neck with the Le Pen National Rally, despite the elections. Future. The heels of the movement of yellow vests (yellow vest) shook his presidency. However, the right has not weakened, obtaining good results in the municipal elections of 2020 and Xavier Bertrand, one of his potential presidential candidates, in the polls much higher than expected at 17%.
On its left flank, the situation looks more favorable. The left is still deeply divided and questionable to rally to a single candidate. However, the Greens performed very well in the last local elections. If the left presented a candidate deemed capable of reaching the second round, there is no doubt that Macron would lose a large part of his left-wing voters in 2017. It remains to be seen whether the change would be significant enough to oust Macron in the first round.
Then there is Marine Le Pen. A September 2020 poll found that most French voters did not want Le Pen-Macron’s revenge. With a loyal electoral base and now attracting a good number of voters who did not support it in 2017, it seems likely that Le Pen will advance to the second round at this point, increasing Macron’s chances of elimination in the first round. Therefore, all potential candidates focused their attacks on Macron, leaving him in a weak position.
Criticism of his handling of COVID-19 and the anger sparked by the yellow vests uprising, Macron is hampered by a meager legacy. He was supposed to start his presidency with a series of reforms that would eventually bring benefits just maybe in time for the next election, but COVID-19 has left that plan in tatters.
Yet, everything is Still at Stake.
2022 could see another wild card burst onto the scene like in 2017. A populist uprising, led by someone skilled enough to grasp the fire that erupted so loudly in 2018, is entirely possible. Anything can happen in an already volatile society pushed to its limits by COVID-19. This could well include a desire for sweeping changes, sweeping Macron to the curb. But, again, this could also lead to a demand for stability and experience. Macron could emerge as a calm force – a steady hand to weather the COVID-19 storm. Dealing with a significant threat could therefore pave the way for victory.
A presidential election is never decided in 15 months, especially not in an uncertain and virus-infested world. Still, he could also become the first president to suffer an embarrassing exit in the first round if the pandemic has taught us anything, not to bet on certainties.