When the results on Sunday night began to come out, it was clear that French voters had already humiliated Emmanuel Macron’s party. Regional elections The presidential election is less than a year away.

Macron, a competitor from the “old political world”, was ecstatic when he won the presidency in 2017. But in the presidential camp, the mood is low.

“This movement is facing a huge challenge,” said Roland Lescure, a member of Macron’s centrist party. “We have been established for five years, and we don’t have many elected officials in the local area… It has no gel.”

The French President’s Marche Republican Party (LREM) defeated the left- and right-wing veteran parties four years ago and won control of the National Assembly. On Sunday, it gained about 7% of the total votes-compared to an estimated center-right party and 34%. The Socialist Party and other left-wing parties.

Local governments have limited powers, mainly in transportation and education policies, but the winner of the weekend tried to describe the vote as a dress rehearsal for next year’s election and emphasized national concerns such as law, order, and the environment.

Xavier Bertrand, a center-right winner in the northwest of Upper France, reiterated his desire to challenge Macron to run for president next year. “This result gives me the strength to seek the support of all French people,” he said.

Xavier Bertrand intends to challenge Emmanuel Macron for the presidency © Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

“La République en Marche does not exist,” said an adviser to one of Macron’s competitors, who predicted that Macronism would “become a bracket in French politics”.

Analysts cautioned that although this failure is embarrassing, it is unlikely to cause lasting damage to Macron’s own campaign for re-election 10 months later.

They emphasized that Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Unity Party-until now regarded as Macron’s main rival for the presidency in 2017-also underperformed, failing to win a single region with about 20% of the seats. Control of the committee. National vote. They also emphasized the record low turnout rate-only one-third of French voters voted.

“This [the poor LREM showing] Christèle Lagier, assistant professor of political science at the University of Avignon, said: “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem in the national elections because the people in the campaign will receive intense attention.

“[Macron’s] It is really difficult for LREM to participate in elections other than the presidential election,” said Emile Leclerc, the research director of the voting organization Odoxa. “But this is a presidential system. .. And today Macron is becoming more and more popular—— Nearly 50% agree, Which is very high. “

However, even Macron’s supporters do not deny the importance of regional election failures or the need to rebuild LREM as an effective election machine.

Macron’s rebellion as a candidate for “Neither Right nor Left” in 2017 and his winning the presidential election at the age of 39 brought French politics into unknown waters that have yet to emerge.

If Macron is re-elected next year, no one knows whether voters will follow the practice of the past 20 years, when they chose a National Assembly led by the president’s party to implement his agenda. If they do not, it will force Macron to nominate prime ministers from different political groups in a system called “cohabitation.”

Lescure is cautiously optimistic. “Hopefully when (the presidential election) comes, people will become enthusiastic again,” he said. “It’s more likely that most [for the president] But compared to 2017, it will be more fragmented. “

“This will be more tricky than it was then,” he estimated.

No matter what happens to Macron, the future of his LREM party is uncertain. If it fails next year, it may disappear, or disappear a few years after the two-term presidential term permitted by the constitution.

Macron weakened his newly formed party after winning the first election in 2017, providing himself with advisers, ministers and members of Congress, to no avail. The key members of his government-including Prime Minister Jean Castex and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian-were not taken away from the traditional right-wing and left-wing parties, undermining his party’s offer. An idea to start over from the past.

Leclerc of Odoza said: “It is not a political party that really broke into French politics, but an individual-Emmanuel Macron.” “If there is no Emmanuel Macron, if he leaves French politics, then the party will completely collapse.”

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