French President Emmanuel Macron will be scrutinised in the French elections for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as one expert said he is likely to face a “referendum”. Mr Macron faces fights in Paris, Marseille and Lyon where the Greens are expected to make gains. Mr Macron had hoped that local elections would provide the grassroots base that his young centrist party, LaRem, lacks ahead of his 2022 re-election bid.
Speaking to France 24, Mr Lees said: “I think in many ways it is a referendum on Macron and this is his first major test of his appeal to voters since the lockdown.
“The French people are gradually coming out of that process and it’s the first real challenge he’s faced for some time.
“We’re now three years into his term as President, he controls the national assembly and parliament in France so, it’s a real test of his authority across the country.
“Particularly the likes of Marseille and Lyon where surprising political parties like, the Greens, are really pushing to take those cities.
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“That’s a real test for Macron.
“It’s also very noticeable in Paris that the socialist party is likely to win again in the next election.
“Very clear there that Macron’s own party has failed to make any sort of headway in Paris.
“Across the whole country, it’s very mixed.”
But many saw Griveaux, who served as Macron’s first government spokesman, as arrogant and patronising.
When the video was posted – by a Russian protest artist whose girlfriend had lured Griveaux into sending the video – few in the party rallied round him.
“He wasn’t liked. Neither by the public, nor by party members,” said an official inside LaRem.
“The time has come when you have to say it like it is.”