France’s centre-right offers no serious opposition to Emmanuel Macron

A YEAR ago Les Républicains (LR), the centre-right party in France, looked set to win presidential and parliamentary elections. Today, after many humiliations, they are licking their partly self-inflicted wounds. After François Fillon, an unpopular former prime minister, unexpectedly became its front man thanks to a new primary system, the party doggedly stuck with its failing candidate, long after a scandal about extravagant payments to his wife had obviously doomed his campaign.

That lack of institutional ruthlessness hints at problems beyond a dud candidate who only just avoided coming fourth in the presidential poll. The heart of LR’s difficulty is an ideological split that means it is ill-placed to oppose the government of President Emmanuel Macron.

One faction, associated with Nicolas Sarkozy, an ex-president and inveterate party plotter, yearns for a bold rightward turn. In hostility to migrants, Muslims and gay marriage, it spies…Continue reading
Source: Europe Economic News