Big manoeuvres in French politics before regional elections in June, according to the article below, with a potential spin-off for the presidential election next year 1/5…
To try to prevent a Le Pen victory in PACA region (Nice, Marseilles etc), Macron’s centrist LREM will support incumbent centre-right president, Renaud Muselier. BUT…Muselier’s party, Les Républicains, is furious and has withdrawn his official backing 2/5
Muselier will run as an independent, in alliance with Macron. Could this be a dry run for a Macron deal with part of centre right in Pres elections next year – as ex-Pres Sarkozy has been  pushing for? 3/5
Big gamble all around. In most recent PACA poll, Le Pen’s party is ahead in PACA on 33%, Muselier had 27% and Macron’s party La Republique en Marche 13%.  But what if Les Républicains run another candidate, as they now may well? 4/5
A Muselier win would give Macron a share in a victory in regional elections, which otherwise look bleak for LREM. But a defeat in 1st round would be hugely embarrassing. Muselier has  support of powerful mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi. Other local CR barons are incandescent 5/5

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More from @Mij_Europe

30 Apr
.@HeleneBismarck is right. What's happening in Hungary's education sector is alarming. The EU should intervene 1/
Hungarian MPs from ruling Fidesz have this week voted to transfer ownership of 11 universities to newly established, so-called “private foundations“. These will be endowed with state assets & headed by allies of PM Viktor Orban 2/
The trustees will be given founders rights, meaning they can appoint their successors. The new structures are also protected in a legal bunker that needs a two-thirds parliamentary majority to change 3/
Read 4 tweets
29 Apr
So @EmmanuelMacron has announced a 4 stage reopening of France in his interview with the regional press, which has been leaked to Le Point magazine though not published in full until tomorrow 1/6
Tourists with a “health pass”, including a negative test, will be allowed back into France on 9 June. This is part of the third stage 2/6
Other stages are:
Next Monday 3 May (already announced) – the end of the lockdown lite and 10K roaming limit 3/6
Read 6 tweets
24 Apr
Le Monde has a big deep-dive poll of 10K people by Sopra-Steria & Ipsos today on first round of Pres elections – the first of a series over the next year. V good results for Macron – btwn 25 & 29% in first round, depending which of three possible centre-right candidates run 1/3 Image
.@MLP_officiel is 26 - 28%. @xavierbertrand does better than @vpecresse – 16 as against 11% - but there is still no sign of a big bounce for his early declaration. The Left is scattered but totals 30% - higher than in other recent polls. Suggests a single left-wing candidate 2/3
Could hope to challenge Macron & Le Pen for a place in 2nd round but chances of a single left-wing candidate being agreed are close to zero – as Paul Taylor says in Politico. Overall, this is a very encouraging snapshot for Macron but a long way to go.. 3/3
Read 4 tweets
23 Apr
So @MLP_officiel has ostensibly abandoned her 2017 plan to leave the EU/Euro - “Frexit”. But if you go to the official website of her “Rassemblement National“, there's nothing in way of new policies. All the old ideas - & supposedly abandoned program of 2017 - is still there 1/
The referendum on leaving EU is still there. The repudiation of Euro to “re-establish a national currency adapted to our own economy as a tool of competitiveness” is still there.  Retirement at 60 is still there. Massive cuts in payroll taxes for small businesses still there 2/
Big, uncosted new investments in R&D are still there. The promise to enormously reduce inheritance taxes is still there. The promise of “re-industrialisation” through massive public investments by a “strategic state” is still there. “Intelligent protectionism” is still there 3/
Read 7 tweets
12 Apr
Lots of media reports that UK & EU are edging closer towards a deal on the Protocol. I'm very sceptical. The gaps between the two remain substantive & substantial; indeed the press reports have been described to me as “surprising“. Short thread 1/
The gaps aren't only on SPS, where there's no meeting of the minds. There's well over 20 substantive issues to resolve & no agreement on whom the onus lies to fix them 2/
The EU wants a “roadmap“ from UK. HMG only agreed to a “work program“. The diff isn't semantics: the first implies all obligations fall on UK; the second it's a joint endeavour. The compromise “road plan” won't resolve this underlying problem 3/
Read 7 tweets
7 Apr
Lots of buzz in Paris/Fr today as @EPhilippe_LH publishes his book on his experiences as PM between May 17 & July 20 under @EmmanuelMacron. Lots already trailed in Fr press & Philippe has been teasingly non-committal about his Pres ambitions. People in Macron land are worried 1/6
Some close to Macron think Philippe may emerge as a rival (despite a gentleman's understanding between the two he won't compete with his former boss). Others think he's being coy to help Macron - subtracting attention from recently launched campaign of @xavierbertrand 2/6
I think Philippe will only run in very specific circumstances (one eg, he could emerge as the figurehead of a “dump Macron” move by establishment worried Le Pen will take second round) 3/6
Read 6 tweets

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