Ukraine War, April 23, 2022 (I): Future of France and Europe hangs in the balance in Macron-Le Pen run-off; latest poll results

We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates.

To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.

Dispatches

1) Thomas Chatterton Williams, “‘If Macron Loses, Putin Wins.’; No matter the outcome of Sunday’s election, the appeal of extremist candidates is worrying for the health of transatlantic liberalism,” The Atlantic, April 23, 2022 (5:00 a.m. ET);

2) Antonio Luis Santos da Costa (Prime Minister of Portugal), Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (Prime Minister of Spain) and Olaf Scholz (Chancellor of Germany), “‘We need France to defend our common European values’, plead Portuguese, Spanish and German leaders; Antonio Costa, Pedro Sanchez and Olaf Scholz speak out against French election candidate Marine Le Pen, ‘who openly sides with those who attack our freedom and democracy,'” Le Monde in English, April 22, 2022 (02h29, updated at 09h48);

3) Abel Mestre, “Présidentielle 2022 : Emmanuel Macron favori du second tour, mais Marine Le Pen à un niveau élevé, selon un ultime sondage; Le président sortant est en tête des intentions de vote, avec 56,5 %, du second tour du scrutin, dimanche 24 avril. La candidate d’extrême droite récolterait 43,5 %, selon un sondage Ipsos-Sopra Steria pour « Le Monde » effectué vendredi, Le Monde, le 22 avril 2022 (22h06, Mis à jour à 22h51)

Commentary

French presidential election run-off will have fateful impact on Europe and allied war effort in Ukraine

Thomas Chatterton Williams, who lives in Paris, provides chilling insights into the decline in democratic values in France, and the profound threat to France and Europe that the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen represents.

While Le Pen is over 10% behind in the polls, an upset victory is possible, due to the cynical role being played by leftist Jean-Luc Mélanchon and the unpredictable number of abstentions.

Williams, who lives in Paris, provides chilling insights into the decline in democratic values in France, and the profound threat to France and Europe that Marine Le Pen represents.

Williams quotes a French author and journalist, Marc Weitzmann, as follows:

“If you put together the far left and right, two-thirds of French voters support an anti-liberal, pro-Putin candidate,” the author and journalist Marc Weitzmann told me. “Given what’s at stake today in Europe, if Macron loses, Putin wins.”

The details of Mélanchon’s Machiavellian plans are truly disturbing:

Going into the election, both Le Pen and Macron are courting—or aspiring to offend the least—Mélenchon’s unpredictable base. That left-wing voters would even consider supporting Le Pen (whether directly or through abstention) is a damning indictment, of both the president’s five-year strategy of reactively meeting Le Pen on her own discursive turf and the commitment of large swaths of French society to basic liberal norms.

In chaos, however, there is opportunity. “Mélenchon does not intend to stop at third place,” Le Monde reported on April 19 after the candidate directly appealed to voters to elect him prime minister in the legislative elections to be held this June. “If this cohabitation does not suit the president, he can leave. I will not leave,” Mélenchon warned. He even indicated that he would be open to being Le Pen’s prime minister—a stunning acknowledgment from the ostensible left.

These are the same kinds of confused politics that brought Adolf Hitler to power in Germany in January 1933. While Le Pen is no Hitler, her election would greatly strengthen the hand of today’s Hitler, Vladimir Putin.

Abel Mestre reports on the latest poll results, showing Macron with a 13 point lead, with an estimated margin of error of 1.1%. The details in the poll show the deep divisions among the French electorate, and support Marc Weitzmann’s conclusions, quoted by Williams. Mestre reports,

Revised Google translation

The votes of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s voters in favor of Mr. Macron are estimated at 41%, but 38% of Mélanchon’s voters would abstain and 21% would even vote for Marine Le Pen. Among the Communists, 43% would vote for the outgoing president, 44% would abstain and 13% would vote for the far-right candidate. The situation therefore still retains many uncertainties.

Meanwhile, Antonio Luis Santos da Costa (Prime Minister of Portugal), Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón (Prime Minister of Spain) and Olaf Scholz (Chancellor of Germany) have published an opinion piece in the leading French newspaper Le Monde, in which they underline the contributions of France to the European project, and its importance for the future. They strongly urge the French to vote against Marine Le Pen and for Emmanuel Macron.

They have taken this highly unusual step because of what they see to be the extraordinary stakes in the election on Sunday.

The Trenchant Observer

***

See also,

Only force can stop Putin

“Ukraine War, April 5, 2022 (II): Force must be used to stop Putin,” The Trenchant Observer, April 5, 2022.

Be the first to comment on "Ukraine War, April 23, 2022 (I): Future of France and Europe hangs in the balance in Macron-Le Pen run-off; latest poll results"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.