The Right in France



  • France remained a democracy-Institutions of the III were challenged by the ligues
  • Extreme-right began to encroach on the traditional working classes
  • General shift during the 1930s in response to socio-economic conditions + the rise of dascism in Nazi Germany and Italy
  • France experienced comparative economic and political stability in the 1920s-Depression hit France later
  • Industry in the 1930s was disparate+strong harvests plummeted prices of grain and wheat (which had a knock on effect in urban areas)
  • The agricultural proletariat saw their wages fall and unemployment rise because of this
  • Areas where sales fell were also effected (car sales)
  • All of this was worsenes by the political inadequacies of the III-The high turnover of governments meant that establishment politicians appeared unable to deal with socio-economic problems
  • The real power was with the different parties in parliament-governments were weak, coalitions were frequent + protest parties were able to gain ground through the PR system
  • Immigration from eastern Europe and Germany caused special interest groups to try to limit its impact (this paved the way for discriminatory legislation in the 1940s)
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Fascism II

  • Extreme-right movements inclued Croix-de-Fe, aimed at veterans and working classes; Parti Populaire Français, aimed at former Communist/Socialist voters and Comité Secret d'Action Révolutionnaire, CSAR 'la cagoule'`
  • Sought to challenge both centre-right and the left over issues such as unemployment, wages and immigration-funded by wealthy industrialists (e.g. Michel Ricard, the pastis manufacturer). 
  • Tenets of fascism: strong, authoritarian figure; the importance of military; enemy within and without; future thinking industry; anti-semitism; state controlled military; right-wing (not conservative); set roles; hatres of marxism, class revolution + the old guard; organic nation coming from within; the nation + race are above the individual; the military + police are right-wing
  • The presence of extreme right ligues and the 6th Feb 1934 riots led to the resignation of Daladier and the centre-right returning to power
  • France may have experienced fascism because of the popularity of extreme-right movements + militaristic, autocratic nature of these movements
  • However, democratic tradition was so well establiushed in France that fascism failed to take root
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Fascism III

  • The PPF combined many tenets of fascism but remained outside of power (did not take it 6th Feb 1934)
  • Movements such as Croix de Feu were focused on nostalgic values
  • Centre-right politicians (e.g. Laval) gained political experience and contacts
  • Daladiers government introduced the 1938 Family Code, which formed much of the VIchy's National Revolution
  • The failure of proto-fascist groups to take power meant that Vichy was lef by centre-right and even left-wing politicians
  • The 1930s shift + increasinly anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant of the French right paved ther way for the Vichy regime and for collaboration
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Fascism IV

Parti Populaire Français:

  • Founded by Doriot
  • Targeted former Communist+Socialist voters from urban areas
  • Biggest collaborationisty group in the 1940s
  • Militaristic in approach (black shirts)
  • Proto-fascist

La Croix de feu:

  • Catholic (incompatible with fascism)
  • Coined travail, famille, patrie (everyone having a role)
  • Idealised the old idea of France
  • Colonel de la Rocque showed some aspects of fascism-Joined the resistance (only because he hated Germans more)
  • Maurras is also a nationalist
  • Didn't initially get involced in politics
  • Targeted veterans
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Fascism V

  • The conditions for fascism: reinvigoration of the miliary; existing neighbvouring nations that are fascist; social dissolusionment with the III 
  • Despite this, the democratic instituition was too well cemented for fascism to take hold
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Vichy I

  • Democratically elected on 9th, 10th and 11th July 1940 at Vichy
  • Key personnel were already influential before Defeat
  • National Revolution aimed to take France back before the Great Revolution of 1789
  • Defeat was blamed on the III, the army, the police, and the prefects, many of whom fled from the Germans
  • Army didn't receive as much blame as Pétain led it
  • During Occupation Jews and party politics were blamed for the Defeat
  • Exode:Population of Chartres fell from 23,000 to 600 overnight, 6-10 million people fleeing 
  • The groundwork for the discontent with the III was laid
  • Popular Front was blamed for having made France decadent (e.g. paid holidays)
  • Maurras blamed the left and the 'anti-France' (Jews, Freemasons and Communists)
  • Pétain pointed to the failure of the III to address the declining population
  • Pétain combined full executive, legislative and judicial powers during the July votes
  • Laval coerced many députés and senators to vote for Pétain: 569-80
  • Communists were banned-PCF in 1939
  • Pétain was allowed to govern by diktat
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Vichy II

The National Revolution:

  • Politically: Autocratic government; end of party politics; little consultation; close surveillance; maintain the Empire (mythical)
  • Economically: Corporatist system, but continued to favour big business interests
  • Socially: Followed La Rocque's trinity of values very closely
  • Travail: Return France to the artisan workshop and to family farms; financial subsidies offered to both (only 1562 families agreed); trade unions curbed
  • Famille: Divorce illegal within first 3 years of marriage; only exceptional cirxumstances thereafter; abortion banned; financial incentives for large families (priority in the workplace for fathers and allocations familiales for mothers); mothers supposed to stay at home and girls to be domestically educated (but some sectors had to let women work)
  • Patrie: France defined against Jews, Freemasons and Communists.
  • Strict quotas of membership of different professions and on educations, obligatory registration and the deportation of 76,000 mostly foreign Jews to death camps. (cultural anti-Semitism introduced without any German pressure)
  • Policies largely unsuccessful 
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Vichy III

  • 1942 onwards: increasingly repressive + controlling attitude; decreased rations
  • After Laval returned April 1942: introduction of violent and repressive organisation (Milice 1943); Pétain's role was diminished
  • Early legislation was nostalgic, traditionalist and conservative
  • Later legislation reflected many of Griffin's tenets of fascism
  • Vichy was legally elected, de Gaulle had no eligibility
  • Vichy had aspects of Fascism (enemy within/without; autocratic government; use of the military
  • However the NR focused entirely on looking backwards
  • Vichy: conservative; nationalistic; reactionary and nostalgic
  • 50-75% of domestic products went to Germany
  • Pétain believed that his government would be invited to Paris (the Germans played him)
  • A second ration restriction resulted in a loss of popularity
  • Most people believed the war was going well (Franco-German newsreels lied about the Eastern Front
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Collaboration I

  • France was the secondary partner in a one-sided arrangement
  • Collaboration could benefit some people on a local/personal level
  • Personal/intimate forms of collaboration were judged the harshest
  • Civil servants and politicians were largely untouched after the war
  • Pétain met with Hitler 24th October 1940 on equal military terms (C vs. M)
  • Pétain was concerned with the welfare of the 1.5 million PoWs in captivity
  • Thought the Germans would win the war quickly and then he could return to Paris
  • Envisioned France as an equal partner in the new European order
  • Collaboration was a nexessary fact for many civil servants and politicians (especially those in the Occupied Zone)
  • The Mayors of Nantes and Tours enjoyed cordial relations with the Germans
  • Others (Jean Moulin) eventually resigned
  • Collaboration was dependent on the situation: some German commanders were more accomodating of French demands (e.g. food provision) than others
  • In cities with prized assets (Saint-Nazaire) relations with the Germans were more strained 
  • In Nantes, relations were good until the Feldkommandur was assassinated (40 communist hostages killed in retaliation)
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Collaboration II

Case Study I: Vichy propaganda authorities:

  • Vichy authorities had to rely on whatever means they had to produce propaganda in order to rvial, then complement, the Germans
  • Jean-Loui Tixier-Vignancour and Guy de Carmoy worked with their German counterparts in the Propaganda Abteilung on producing filmed propaganda
  • Wide range of local-level collaboration: Joint Comité de Direction for the joint Franco-German newsreel, France-Actualités from Aug 1942-1944 (long term)
  • On the whole, thw two sides worked closely with one another: Only when German military authorities intervened with requests that relations deteriorated
  • These men were brought together by shared interest in film making (similar to other industries e.g. car manufacturing-Louis Renault)
  • Cases of resistance while collaborating: Cameramen of the FA refused to films cenes of resistance violence for fear of turning support again the resistance
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Collaboration III

  • Relève in June 1942: Every three skilled workers volunteering in Germany led to one French PoW being release (very few people volunteered)
  • Service du Travail Obligatoire in February 1943: all French men aged between 19 and 30 
  • 2/3 of French industrial output was allocated to the germans
  • Most materials e.g. horses were requisitioned
  • Rationing levels were reduced twice between 1941 and 1942
  • People had no problem working for the Germans, they just wanted to work in France

Case Study II: La Rafle du Vel d'hiv:

  • Vichy provided the Germans with the fichiers des Juifs, and French police and civil service introduced laws and measures against Jewish people without any German pressure
  • La Rafle: Round up of 12,884 Jews from the Paris area; Stayed in the stadium for up to 5 days; deported to death camps via transit camps e.g. Drancy
  • 76,000 Jews were deported during the Occupation
  • Vel d'hiv only had a slight impact on public opinion
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Collaboration IV

  • Many local pliticians went into hiding and then returned as members of the resistance: the Mayor of Tours, Ferdinand Morin was eventually tried for his role in collaboration but then reinstated
  • Civil servants were on occassion stripped of their rights to citizenship
  • But many destroyed lists of personnel or were simply allowed to continue their post
  • Senior members of the government e.g. Laval were tried for high treason
  • The most brutal treatment of collaborators revolved around petty settling of scores
  • The Femmes Tondues  were the worst treated: 20,000 women had their heads shaved for alleged collaboration horizontale
  • Many right-wing politicians or civil servants (René Bousquet) survived with careers intact
  • Collaborators were geenrally let off lightly comparted with the collaborationists
  • 9,000 death sentences were handed out (very few carried out)
  • 20,000-28,000 civil servants received a saction (max. 2 years)
  • Pagnol, who made newsreels for Vichy and the Nazis, was placed on the panel judging collaborators
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Collaborationism I

  • More inspired by deeply-held personal convictions
  • Collaboration involved cooperation witht he Germans; collaborationism involved ideological sympathy for them
  • "Vichy often practised discreetly what the collaborationists preached vociferously" (Julian Jackson)
  • Many ideological collaborationists had right-wing pasts, and found bouth support and funding to disseminate long-held ideas (e.g. opposition to the enemy within)
  • Others came from the left, e.g. Doriot and Déat, and even the Popular Front, e.g. Charles Spinasse
  • Long-standing Germanophiles saw collaborationism as a European path; France might hold a privileged place in the New Order (Germany had no such vision for France)
  • PPF continued to poerate in the Occupied Zone
  • Doriot and other PPF members joined the Ligue des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchévisme, fighting on the Eastern Front in Nazi uniform
  • Doriot wanted France to declare war on Britain and become a German military ally
  • Membership of the PPF peaked at 40,000-50,000 (lower middle class, associated with street violence, but did have intellectual supporters)
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Collaborationism II

  • Déát hoped to form a one party state with his Rassemblement National Populaire (founded January 1941) with the help of the German occupiers. The RNP attracted 20-30,000 votes
  • Déat briefly allied with Eugène Deloncle whose Mouvement social révolutionnaire was responsible for violent attacks on people and buildings (Parisian synagogues on 2nd October 1941)
  • Darnand established the Milice in 1943 and arranged for the ** to supply him with weapons
  • By 1944, Gerhard Hibbelen controlled half of all French newspapers: Some right-wing papers e.g. Je suis partout (Robert Brasillach) became strongly collaborationist
  • Readership of Parisian daily press was 3,000,000 in 1940; 1,700,000 by 1944
  • Liberatrion brought a violent settling of scores (e.g. between the resistance and the Milice)
  • Épuration sauvage resulted in the deaths of 100,000 people
  • Collaborationists were obvious targets in the postwar trials
  • Doriot was strafed by the RAF, Déat fled to Sweden in exile
  • Darnand and Brasillach were executed for treason
  • The Milice was made up of WWI veterans, working and middle class frenchmen, and right-wing young people (avoid STO, participate in violence and have an acceptable form of employment) 60 killed between 3rd July 1943-3rd January 1944
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Poujadism I

  • IV inherited terrible finance of the Vichy regime: Blum-Byrnes Agreement of 1947
  • Taxation of small business and of farmers was particularly high (led to Poujadism)
  • War in Indochina (1945-1954) came at a high financial and personnel cost
  • France remained a prominently rural country; communities e.g. Saint-Céré wished to maintain the status quo and to fight government attempts to open up competition in the form of American-run supermarkets
  • This led to Pierre Poujad: shopkeeper from rural village of Saint-Céré, forming a pressure group to block access of taz collectors to small businesses and to protest at government bureaucracy
  • The Union de Défense des Commerçants et Artisans (UDCA), spread across the country and held huge rallies. 
  • It formed into a political party, the Union et Fraternité Française, which disrupted its rivals' demonstrations and violently protested against taxes
  • The party saw 52 deputies elected to the National Assembly in the 1956 legislatives, including Jean-Marie Le Pen
  • Poujar turned down a seat and therefore his party lost power
  • Poujadism was short-lived and died out with the creation of the V (end of the PR system)
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Poujadism II

  • Nevertheless, it was a platform for the expression of some extremist views: anti-parliamentarianism; anti-intellectuallism and anti-Semitism (Poujade attacked Mendès-France for his Jewish links and his failure to drink wine)
  • It also enabled other politicians who shared views espoused by Vichy to stand for political election: Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour had been one of the first Propaganda Ministers under Vichy, and stood for election in the 1965 presidentials
  • Poujads targets were to keep Algeria French, and then after 1962 to reduce immigration
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The Front National I

Jean-Marie Le Pen:

  • Law student who fought in Indochina and Algeria
  • Elected as deputy to the National Assembly in the 1956 legislatives
  • Founded the FN in 1972, served as chief of staff for Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour in the presidential elections of 1965

Marine Le Pen:

  • Became president of the FN in January 2011
  • Obtained 17.9% of the vote in the first round of the 2012 presidentials
  • Her list for the regionals won 40.6% in December 2015, which increased to 42.2% in the second round
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The Front National II

  • During the events of May 1968, power vacuum of the extreme-right filled by Occident
  • Made up of law students who believed in arch-conservative values and opposed the extreme-left ideals of some participants in May 1968
  • Occident preceded the personnel and ideas of the FN, but was never a parliamentary party and di not engage with the institution
  • It dissolved in November 1968 and formed into the Ordre Nouveau, the immediate precursosr to the FN
  • Both groups were largely youthful protest groups
  • Creation of the FN in 1972 encouraged engagement with the elections (like T-V and Poujade)
  • The FN stood on similar platforms to the Poujadist movement: strongly opposed to the tratment of the pieds-noirs and France's loss of control in Algeria; support for small business and farmers; opposition to government intervention
  • The FN did not pose a threat to the bipartisme of the V until the 1984 Europeans (10.5%) as they were allowed airtime on state television and performed well under the PR system
  • The FN performed well under the PR system in the 1986 legislatives
  • In 2002, Jean-Marie came second in the first found of the presidentials (16.8%) and increased his share to 17.9% in the second round
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The Front National III

  • In 2007 the FNs policies were widely adopted by Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Jean-Marie stepped down in 2011 to be replaced by his daughter, Marine Le Pen
  • Marine came third in the 2012 presidentials with 17.9% of the vote, and acted as a powerbroker 'Vote for Jeanne d'Arc' in the second round
  • Marion and Marine Le Pen thrived in the first found of the 2015 regionals
  • The FN served as a third major political party in France
  • Marine's policy of dédiabolisation altered the image of her family and her party
  • However in 2010 she made remarks on Muslims in the streets of Paris, and she remains an outspoken critic of the influence of immigration on French society (called for a quota on immigrants in her 2012 manifesto and an end to all illegal immigration)
  • The themes of immigration and law and order (the riots of 2005 and 2007 and the Paris attacks of 2015) have overtaken those of French Algeria and of opposition to the largely absent extreme-left
  • However, the themes of economy and protection of small businesses remain important
  • Whereas Poujad blames globalisation, Marine Le Pen blames the European Union
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Fillon and the Elections I

  • Fillon lost as a result of nepotism allegations and his refusal to apologise
  • Fillon got 20.01% in the first round, Le Pen 21.3% and Macron 24.01%
  • Polls predicted Marine and Macron would get 26%
  • Macron easily beat Le Pen in the second round with 66.1% (she got 33.9%)
  • Precedent of a centrist candidate holding off the threat of the FN (Chirac in 2002)
  • In 2002 there was a political landscape of fear and anger towards radical islam
  • November 2015 attacks in Paris and July 2016 attacks in Nice rekindled this atittude
  • In 2002 anti-Islamic sentiment was expressed by a minority within government
  • Chirac beat Le Pen because of the spirit of 1998 
  • In 2017, measures have been taken against radical islam (ban on the burkini as it was perceived as an affront ot laicité and a potential expression of radical islam
  • Marine took steps to improve the image of her party and family
  • In 2002 Le Pen admitted to having committed torture in Algeria and saying that the gas chambers were a minor detail of WWII
  • Dédiabolisation has succeeded: Not openly anti-Semitic: Louis Alliot is gay; stamped out attempts to revert back to the previous party image
  • However, in 2010 compared muslims praying on the streets to German soldiers in occupation
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Fillon and the Elections II

  • Le Pen wants a France independent of outside influence and to return to the grandeur of the past decades
  • Fillon's focus was on ********* down the economy and catholic values, whereas Le Pen wished to fight him on the topic of immigraton
  • Fillon might have wanted to reduce immigration but he knew that it would be problematic
  • Macron talks about La France en Marche, (maintaining security of the nation and protecting the institutions of the Republic) something which is taken up by Le Pen
  • Macron and Fillon are pro-globalisation, Marine is anti
  • Fillon was selected in Novermber 2016 (anti-Sarkozy vote)
  • Sarkozy was beaten into 3rd place by Alain Juppé (served under Chirac in the 1990s, self-professed Gaullist figure) 
  • Fillon stood for the conservative and nationalist viewpoint that he shares with historical figures (Pétain and de Gaulle)
  • Legitimist figure reaching out to voters in Catholic regions (Brittany) in the same way as monarchist figures in the post-revolutionary era
  • Fillon stopped short of declared that he would like to make homosexuality illegal, or to prohibit gay marriage altogether, but he was an opponent to Holland's marriage pour tous 
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Fillon and the Elections III

  • He also did not like the idea of gay couples having state-funded access to fertility treatment
  • Did not like the concept of an over centralized state (Thatcherite)
  • Talked about ********* down the size of the state in France (removing the sorts of privileges attached to pénible professions e.g. train drivers)
  • Wanted to increase the official working week beyong 35 hours (reminscent of Sarkozy's efforts to make the French work more in 2007 and 2008)
  • Travailler plus pour gagner plus didn't work then, and didn't work this time
  • Fillon's policies would mean the removeal of some of their core working-age benefits (like heavily subsidised medical treatment) which would prove unpopular
  • Juppé had a more moderate and consensual approach, and had a better political track record (prime minister and the mayor of Bordeaux)
  • He believed in state-led economics, Fillon believed in laissaz-faire economics (smaller roled played by the state) Juppé was also seen as a support of Islam in French society
  • Juppé got 33.5% of the vote in the second round, whereas Fillon got 66.5%
  • Juppé was accused by Eric Zenmour (Jewish journalist) of being the 'candidate of the left': not sufficiently hard on Islam; too liberal; too pro-European
  • Fillon's hardser stance on traditional Catholic values won him votes from core conservatives
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Fillon and the Elections IV

  • Sarkozy was a victim of his own reputation (l'hyperprésident)
  • Unpopular in his efforts to reduce the state-subsidised benefits and to control debt
  • Sarkzoy has found it difficult since his loss to Hollande to regain traction
  • Sarkozy is not as popular amongst core conservative voters (tendency to flaunt his wealth and private life)
  • Beaten into third palce as a result of Sarkozy's reputation and as a result of a sense of anti-establishment in French politics
  • Fillon was less flashy and less associated with power than Sarkozy and more hardline than Juppé
  • Sarkozy was also tained with allegations of corruption (affaire Bettancourt) where he received envolopes of cash from the owner of L'Oreal to support his presidential campaign in 2012 
  • Juppé has also been previously convicted of corruption through nepotism while working for the centre-right party in Paris
  • Fillon was not associated with corruption prior to the allegations levelled against him by Le Canard Enchaîné in February 
  • Penelopegate scandal demages his political reputation enough to make him lose
  • Fillon is now tainted by his refusal to apologise or to stand down
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Fillon and the Elections V

  • Fillon has since adopted many tropes of Trump: allegations o media conspiracy; generation of fake news
  • All of this is a stark contrast to his prior image as a man of principle
  • Le Pen is also accused of corruption through the creation of false roles for employees who were paid more than 300,000 euros collectively
  • Le Pen is more focused on immigration and Islam than Fillon
  • Le Pen wants to reingorce the state through a series of complex and largely unrealistic taz and welfare reforms
  • She also wants to: Restric opportunities for free trade to make France more competitive; ban foreign companies taking over French competitors; prohibit importants from companies that did not respect French norms; tariff on French companies that hire foreign workers
  • These policies are interventionist and state-driven (dirigiste)
  • Her 112 propositions are almost identicval to her 2012 proposals: Reinforce law and order (reintroduction of suspension of French citizenship and l'indignité nationale for anyone accused of Islamist activities; create 15,000 posts in the police and the gerndarmerie; life means life prison term; limit legal immigration to just 10,000 entries per year; end the droit du sol; re-establish national identity; promote laïcité; alternative career paths of the unacademic
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Fillon and the Elections VI

  • Le Pen's programme is a mixture of clear targets on immigration and some other abstract concepts, none of which have very much by way of a clear funding method
  • Le Pen wants to increase taxes paid by the biggest companies in French society and to reduce tariffs and charges for smaller countries, but there is no clear outline of how to fund the inverventionist measures she plands to take
  • Trope of the left: A state-driven economic model
  • Hard-right stance on immigration, law and order (reference to laxiste judges and magistrates)
  • In 2012 Le Pen was an outsider, in 2017 she is one of the favourites 
  • The mainstream left has widely been discredited (Hollande's lackluster economic policy)
  • The mainstream right has been discredited (corruption)
  • Le Pen succeeded (somewhat) in appealing as much to the left as to the right (Bonapartist)
  • Her programme implicity hints at extreme-right sentiment lurking behind dédiabolisation
  • She rejected the principals of globalisation and free trade, whereas Macron seeks private investment in the French economy (to modernise France through digital industry, with emphasise on training and 'upskilling'
  • Macron also talks about encouraging big business to register on French soil, increasing the size of the police and prison populatio
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Fillon and the Elections VII

  • Macron is resolutely pro-Europe
  • But like Le Pen, his manifesto lacks concrete methodology to fund his policies (but his manifesto is somewhat more credible than Marine's as he was former economics minister)
  • Like Le Pen, Macron would rely on a government made up of politicians from other parties
  • Le Pen would have difficult governing as the National Assembly would be largely hostile (the FN is projected to gain 3-4 deputies in the June legislatives)
  • Macron would look to build bridges with the Socialists, Greens and the centre-right 
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