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Sarkozy sees return to top as kingmaker for Macron
London Times ^ | April 3 2017 | Charles Bremner

Posted on 04/03/2017 3:54:22 AM PDT by iowamark

Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, is manoeuvring to return to power as the backstage boss behind Emmanuel Macron, the independent candidate who is favourite to win the French election next month.

Mr Sarkozy, 62, who lost the presidency to the Socialist François Hollande five years ago, has all but written off the chances of François Fillon, the beleaguered presidential candidate of his conservative Republicans party, and has instead set his sights on a party victory in the June parliamentary elections, his colleagues say. The outcome of that election will dictate whether the new president has the means to run the country.

Mr Fillon, who trounced Mr Sarkozy for the Republicans candidacy last autumn, has fallen to third place in polls before the first round of the presidential election on April 23 after being charged with illicitly paying his wife and children on the parliamentary payroll.

On Saturday Mr Fillon’s camp was infuriated by an overture made to Mr Macron by Christian Estrosi, conservative president of the Provence- Alpes-Côte d’Azur region and a close ally of Mr Sarkozy. “This was not a good idea three weeks before an already complicated election, in which many voters are disorientated,” Éric Woerth, a senior Republican who is campaigning for Mr Fillon, said.

Mr Estrosi’s meeting with Mr Macron was seen as a signal by Mr Sarkozy that he was open to an alliance.

Mr Macron, a former minister in Mr Hollande’s administration, cannot govern without a working majority in the 577-seat National Assembly. A strong favourite to beat Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate, in the May run-off, the political novice plans to field parliamentary candidates in all constituencies in the name of his personal movement, En Marche (Let’s move). Half will have no parliamentary experience and half will be women, he has promised.

Mr Macron claims that this will give him at least a relative majority. “If they choose our project, there is no doubt the French will follow up and will give us the means to implement it,” he said last week. However, a President Macron would be unlikely to win more than a few dozen seats and would probably have to depend on an alliance or loose coalition including the centre left and centre right, analysts say.

France has not found itself in such a potentially unstable predicament since the 1950s. Ms Le Pen’s National Front is likely to raise its parliamentary presence from two seats to well over 30, diluting the traditionally dominant Socialists and Republicans, pollsters say.

If Ms Le Pen wins, her chances of governing with parliamentary backing would be lower than Mr Macron’s as she would be unlikely to have any allies.

A BVA poll shows that the race is tightening. Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen each slipped by one point, to 25 per cent and 24 per cent respectively. Mr Fillon gained two points, and is on 19 per cent.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: fillon; france; lepen; macron; sarkozy

1 posted on 04/03/2017 3:54:22 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

The conservative candidate Mr. Fillon still has a chance. The socialist Macron would be a disaster, or perhaps, a continuation of a disaster. LePen has very little chance to be elected and would have tremendous difficulty governing if she did. Her party could never approach a majority in Parliament.

Sarkozy seems to be planning a deal with Macron, whose socialist/communist backers are unlikely to win a majority in the new Parliament.

2 posted on 04/03/2017 4:10:16 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

There hasn’t been any real reliable polling done for the legislative election in the summer....everything is based off the Presidential election/primary.

Fillon is more or less finished. I doubt if he gets much past 19-percent, putting him at least five to ten points behind both Macron and LePen. Fillon was slated to win, if you go back to November, but this whole fake-pay thing with his wife has really made him a toxic candidate. Based on what evidence they’ve collected....unless she makes a deal and pays back the pay (over 700,000 Euro)...she might be doing some jail-time.

LePen will have trouble in the main election and getting past 40-percent point probably won’t happen. So Macron will win this...almost no doubt.

I would agree that the legislative match might be more interesting. If Macron’s party can’t get any traction....he’s just there for five years as a empty-suit president and no real accomplishments to occur.

3 posted on 04/03/2017 4:28:14 AM PDT by pepsionice
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