French En Marche Party to announce new policy as far-right opposition gains in polls

French En Marche Party to announce new policy as far-right opposition gains in polls

The head of French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche Party, Christophe Castaner, will hold a press conference today

FILE PHOTO: French Government Spokesman Christophe Castaner leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Photo: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

The head of French President Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche Party, Christophe Castaner, will hold a press conference today aimed at shoring up popular support as its lead in the polls has shrunk against the far-right National Rally Party.

Elections for the European Parliament in early 2019 are expected to be a test of whether Macron’s unprecedented public support following his election has been sustained. Polling has already projected a fall in En Marche’s vote share from 23% to 20%, due to unpopular changes to the French labour code and a cut in tax rates for financial services firms. Meanwhile, the gap in public support between En Marche and the National Rally has narrowed to roughly 3%.

To address these woes, expect En Marche to release further details about their plans for public investment and job training. The Macron government will be eager to shore up domestic support through popularly supported programs following the bruising battle fought with unions over labour and tax reforms. The potential for a rise in support for the euro-sceptic National Rally raises long-term electoral concerns for the European Parliament next year. A higher level of far-right representation could imperil the European Parliament’s legislative agenda.

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