France Should Change Coming Elections to Prevent Right-Wing Victory Says Veteran Civil Servant

Head of the "Rassemblement national" far-right party Marine Le Pen addresses MPs
THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

A former senior French civil servant has recommended that France change the order of coming elections to prevent a potential victory for populist-nationalist Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Philippe Lazar, a former senior civil servant, admitted that there is a possibility for a victory for Ms Le Pen in next year’s presidential elections and said a way to prevent such a victory could be to have the French parliamentary elections held before the presidential election.

In an opinion article for the French newspaper Le Monde, Lazar stated that while Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) would likely increase its seats in a parliamentary election, it would not get at least half of the seats, and such a result could impact support for Le Pen as a presidential candidate.

“Emmanuel Macron knows full well that, even if he is re-elected, it will be by a small majority and that his supporters will not have an absolute majority in the National Assembly, which would make his second five-year term extremely difficult to manage,” Lazar said.

French parliamentary elections are typically held just a month after a presidential election and often see the party of the presidential winner perform well and win a majority in the parliament, as was the case in 2017 when Emmanuel Macron’s Le Republique en Marche! (LREM) and its allies won a majority in June of 2017.

“The re-inversion here suggested is probably the best way (perhaps the only one?) to avoid the institutional trap that is now being set for us. Why is it not the subject of a wide debate today?” he said.

Lazar is just the latest to express concern that Ms Le Pen could be on course to win the French presidency next year.

Former French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called on left-wing activists and supporters to stop seeing Macron as their chief adversary more than Le Pen after a poll revealed that Le Pen would beat nearly all of the proposed left-wing presidential candidates.

Former French minister Arnaud Montebourg, meanwhile, ha claimed that Macron could lose to Le Pen due to perceptions that Macron represents the “oligarchy” among regular voters.

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


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