After a row with leader Marine Le Pen, vice president Florian Philippot has quit the Front National. The party's key strategist and representative of the self-styled modern wing resigned after Le Pen effectively stripped him of his power. Journalists discuss what this means for France's political landscape.
What Le Pen must now prove
Now alone at the helm, FN leader Marine Le Pen faces a number of problems, Le Figaro comments:
“Her weak performance in the election campaign before the second round hurt her image. Her hesitation in the face of Florian Philippot's provocations raised doubts about her ability to get her way. Finally, the troubles she's had merely staying present in the political debate, and her leaving the role of opposition leader to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, raise doubts about her competence. The fight against immigration, radical Islamism, insecurity, the defence of small businesses. ... The FN without Philippot plans to go back to its favourite topics. In a way this is a return to the roots planted by her father. But the daughter has yet to prove that she can adapt his message to today's tastes.”
Mélenchon is having the last laugh
The leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon will benefit most from the crisis in the Front National, the taz's France correspondent Rudolf Balmer believes:
“His movement La France insoumise has hardly any rivals in the French opposition, and none whatsoever on the right side of the political spectrum. Preoccupied with the problems in her own party, Marine Le Pen has become practically inaudible. Mélenchon, who unlike her did not make it into the second round of the presidential elections, is now having his revenge. He's leading the political resistance to President Emmanuel Macron's liberal labour law reforms practically on his own.”