Macron Govt Backs Off Electoral Reform After Realising It Would Benefit Right-Wing Opposition

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) attends a meeting with French far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party leader Marine Le Pen at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, on February 6, 2019. (Photo by PHILIPPE WOJAZER / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP via Getty Images)

Emmanuel Macron’s government will drop a 2017 electoral reform promise, with former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner stating it would only help Marine Le Pen’s populist party.

Emmanuel Macron had pledged to reform the French election system to proportional representation during his candidacy for the presidency, but his government has now backed off from the idea, just a year before the next French presidential election.

Former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, who now leads Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM/Republic on the Move) in the French chamber of deputies, said the move would only serve to help the Rassemblement National (RN/National Rally) led by Marine Le Pen, Liberation reports.

“I am not in favour of bringing 100 RN MPs into Parliament,” Mr Castaner remarked.

Former Justice Minister François Bayrou had led the call for a proportional representation system, but a senior source in LREM told France Inter that the issue was not a topic of concern for Mr Macron.

“I have probed my sources within the executive: the President of the Republic is not at all focused on this subject at the moment. Changing the rules so close to elections would not be very smart,” the source said.

Castaner’s concerns likely come from the fact the Le Pen’s RN has fared exceedingly well in votes using proportional representation such as the European Parliament elections.

In the 2019 EU poll, the National Rally beat Macron’s Republic on the Move and became the largest French party in the European Parliament with 24 seats and over 23 per cent of the vote.

In her victory speech, Marine Le Pen called for fresh national elections, saying that President Macron had put his own presidency on the line during the EU election campaign.

Other populist and anti-establishment parties have also performed well in a proportional representation system, too, such as the Brexit Party which dominated the 2019 EU election in the UK, winning 29 seats, with the second-place Liberal Democrats gaining just 15.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.