Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (RN) has surged ahead in the French opinion polls ahead of the 2024 European Parliament elections.
The party came first in the last European Parliament election in 2019, receiving more than 23 per cent of the national vote and beating French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche – since rebranded as Renaissance – by a single point.
Such a tight vote appears unlikely to be repeated in 2024, with polling published by IFOP suggesting that 28 per cent of French now say they will vote for the party.
Macron’s outfit has seen its support fall to 20 per cent, giving RN an eight-point lead over the government group.
Both of Le Pen’s Right-wing rivals – Éric Zemmour’s Reconquête and Eric Ciotti’s Les Républicains – failed to breach 10 per cent in the polls.
France’s Left-wing is also in the doldrums. The Greens and the Nupes political alliance would also both be unable to breach the 10 per cent mark if elections were held today, according to the polls.
New polls show former European “Green Pope” Frans Timmermans’ left-wing group in the Netherlands is already sliding just weeks after his return from Brussels. https://t.co/ugMYpSxUMs
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 7, 2023
With Le Pen once again knocking at the door of electoral success, much speculation has abounded regarding who will lead Macron’s Renaissance party into battle next year.
Although no official announcement has been made, media outlets are speculating that Stéphane Séjourné MEP – the party’s secretary general – will take the helm.
Others have posited that European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, could be the man for the job and that Macron will try to pull the pro-censorship Eurocrat from Brussels in the hope of fighting off the Right.
This would be far from the first time a senior EC official left to return to national politics. The Netherlands’ Frans Timmermans and Bulgaria’s Mariya Gabriel have both done so this year in their bid to lead their countries of origin.
Although those two are predicted to have some success, there is no such certainty surrounding Breton. The IFOP reports that Renaissance is likely to do just as badly no matter whom they have at the helm.
“It is a vote of partisan brand, more than a vote of incarnation,” said IFOP general director Frédéric Dabi.
If Emmanuel Macron’s new immigration bill doesn’t look like a real departure from the failed solutions of the past four decades, the electorate will show him little forgiveness, writes @moutet. https://t.co/Lu0wSX3Lnn
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 26, 2023