'Unstable!' Macron 'could resign' if Le Pen surges in second round as President's gamble backfires

'Unstable!' Macron 'could resign' if Le Pen surges in second round as President's gamble backfires

'Unstable!' Macron 'could resign' if Le Pen surges in second round as President's gamble backfires

REUTERS
Jack Walters

By Jack Walters


Published: 07/07/2024

- 16:38

Updated: 08/07/2024

- 07:43

The French President was dealt a hammer blow in last weekend’s first round vote

Emmanuel Macron “could resign” if National Rally romps to victory later today, the French President’s top aides have warned.

Voting to elect MPs to the National Assembly kicked-off last weekend after Macron made an enormous gamble following a disastrous set of results in the recent EU Parliamentary Elections.


Branding Macron as “unpredictable” and “unstable”, a top adviser told The Telegraph: “I know the man – this is not science fiction.”

The French President, who won against Marine Le Pen in 2017 and saw his lead slashed 2022, recently vowed to serve until May 2027.

'Unstable!' Macron 'could resign' if Le Pen surges in second round as President's gamble backfires'Unstable!' Macron 'could resign' if Le Pen surges in second round as President's gamble backfiresREUTERS

However, a top minister told Le Parisien: “One day, [Macron] can make you a promise straight to your face, and the next day do the complete opposite.

“Completely the opposite. So when he says: ‘I'll never leave’, I have my doubts.”

An insider also asked: “What's the next step? He resigns, Le Pen is elected President, and a big ball is organised in the Elysée party room to celebrate his departure?”

Le Pen urged Macron to step down if his centrist coalition struggles in second round, arguing: “The only way out of a potential political crisis is for the President to resign.”

National Rally already elected 39 MPs in the first ballot, with an additional 32 winning from the leftist New Popular Front.

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Marine Le PenMarine Le PenREUTERS

However, a large number of the 577 seats in the National Assembly remain up for grabs.

Le Pen is facing a tough task in her bid to get Jordan Bardella elected as French Prime Minister after Macron urged candidates to drop out to halt the rise of the populist right.

Ensemble only opted to drop 81 candidates, with the centrist coalition qualifying for 319 contests.

The New Popular Front also dropped 130 candidates after qualifying to contest 446 races.

Ahead of the candidates' list closing, Macron said: “Let's not be mistaken.

“It's the far-right that's on its way to the highest office, no one else.”

The MacronsFrance's President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte MacronGetty

Bardella later condemned the arrangement as the fruit of an “alliance of dishonour”.

Despite speculation about Macron quitting, the French President spoke with newly-elected Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer following his landslide Labour victory.

A readout from Downing Street said: “The Prime Minister spoke to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, this afternoon.

“The French President began by congratulating the Prime Minister and wished him well for his new government.

“Turning to the bilateral relationship, the Prime Minister and President looked forward to furthering the close cooperation between the UK and France.

“The leaders discussed the upcoming NATO and European Political Community summits, underlining the importance of these early opportunities to discuss shared priorities, including the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, climate, artificial intelligence, migration and the economy.

“Both looked forward to seeing each other in the coming days.”

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