Macron trails behind Le Pen

France's far right under Marine le Pen has come first in the European elections, ahead of President Macron's list. Macron had promised he would do all he could to prevent the Rassemblement National from winning. Observers disagree as to the lessons the president should learn from the result.

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La Croix (FR) /

A warning for the president

Although the vote in France is not a political earthquake it does rob the president of anything resembling a victory, La Croix puts in:

“This result has not triggered an institutional crisis in France. The far right was first across the finishing line in 2014 without that significantly changing the situation. But it is a major setback for Emmanuel Macron, who took a serious risk by placing the duel between his party and le Rassemblement National at the heart of the campaign. In France, first of all, his actions as head of state will now lack the aura of victory. And in Europe, vis-à-vis partners who are often reserved, his words won't carry the necessary authority.”

L'Opinion (FR) /

Macron's strategy paid off

Macron was successful in garnering voters' support as a bulwark against the populists, L'Opinion counters:

“La République en marche has well withstood the wear and tear that comes with being in power, the disenchantment with Macronism and above all the offensive of the yellow vests, whose protests almost toppled his government. ... Nevertheless the president's true victory lies elsewhere: the strategy of the tactical vote worked better than he could have hoped for. It destroyed the conservative Republicans, whose political offer and positioning were clearly rejected; it exploded the left and humiliated the party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which was demoted to the level of the moribund Socialist Party and came in far behind Yannick Jadot's Green Party.”