French Elections: Le Pen Makes Gains Thanks to Macron’s Mistakes

  • French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen

    French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen | Photo: AFP

Published 30 April 2017 (4 hours 59 minutes ago)
66 percent of French workers plan to vote for the far-right candidate next Sunday, according to a BVA poll on Friday.

On Apr. 23, the results of France’s first round presidential elections set the stage for a face off between far-right xenophobic candidate Marine Le Pen will face the neoliberal former investment banker Emmanuel Macron.

ANALYSIS:
Could Marine Le Pen Repeat Trump’s Victory in France?

But 15 years after the 2002 elections, which for the first time saw a National Front’s candidate (Le Pen’s father) running against a politician from “the establishment” (former President Jacques Chirac), French voters seem so “blasé” with the results that they may not mobilize as much against the far-right this time.

The abstention rate is expected to reach a record high on May 7, as last Sunday’s numerous calls to support Macron were later undermined by the candidate’s own mistakes. Between Sunday and Thursday, the former economy minister of the socialist government had already lost 4 percentage points according to an Ipsos poll — down from 63 percent to 59, while Le Pen rose from 39 to 43 percent. What happened then?

First, Macron came under fire after he celebrated in advance of his uncertain victory in a fancy brasserie of Paris, while most of the country was mourning the victory of the far-right for the second time in French history. With less of a quarter of the popular vote tallied, many found the candidate arrogant for taking his election for granted thanks to the probable anti-National Front vote that would turn in his favor in the second round.

Moreover, despite this extremely low support, Macron firmly refused to change a line of his program or to negotiate alliances — another blow to the many voters who did not support him last Sunday, but still feel compelled to do so on May 7. For instance, the same survey found that only 40 percent of the people who voted for progressive candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon would vote for him in the second round — a 13-point drop in only a few days.

ANALYSIS:
4 Takeaways from French Presidential Elections

On the other hand, the day after the election Le Pen announced that she temporarily suspended her presidency for the infamous National Front, in a bid to appear more moderate and appeal to a larger spectrum of voters. Le Pen also reached a highly symbolic alliance with the eurosceptic leader of a center-right party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who encouraged the 5 percent of people who supported him on Sunday to vote for Le Pen. If she wins the vote, she promised to appoint him as prime minister.

On Wednesday, another embarrassing moment saw Macron being insulted by workers from Whirpool, a domestic appliance factory in Amiens, northwest of Paris, right after Marine Le Pen enjoyed a much warmer welcome on the industrial site.

While 295 jobs are threatened by outsourcing to Poland, Macron attempted to explain the benefits of globalization and promised he will do his best to secure their jobs — just like socialist candidate Francois Hollande promised ArcelorMittal workers in Florange, before the site definitely closed shortly after he was elected.

RELATED:
French Mayor to Ditch City of ‘Assholes’ Who Voted for Le Pen

In France, the annual May Day demonstrations are being combined with anti-fascists demonstrations meant to counter the traditional far-right celebration of catholic Joan of Arc’s victory against the British invaders. Since 1995, anti-fascist groups also commemorate the anniversary of the killing of Brahim Bouarram, a bystander that fascists threw to the river after the far-right rally that year.

But with the current tensions mounting ahead of Sunday’s vote, authorities have boosted security in anticipation of tomorrow’s protests. In recent weeks, anti-fascists rallies have turned into violent clashes with the police and arrests — not too surprising, considering that up to 60 percent of active police officers planned in January to vote for the xenophobic and anti-immigration candidate, according to a Cevipof poll.

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Here Come The Bilderbergs: The Complete 2014 Cast And Host Nation Breakdown

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The only thing more ominous for the world than a Fed raising interest rates is a Bilderberg Group meeting. The concentration of politicians and business leaders has meant the organisation, founded at the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem in 1954, has faced accusations of secrecy. Meetings take place behind closed doors, with a ban on journalists. As InfoWars notes, the 2014 Bilderberg meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark is taking place amidst a climate of panic for many of the 120 globalists set to attend the secretive confab, with Russia’s intransigence on the crisis in Ukraine and the anti-EU revolution sweeping Europe posing a serious threat to the unipolar world order Bilderberg spent over 60 years helping to build.

Current list of Participants (source):

Chairman

  • FRA    Castries, Henri de    Chairman and CEO, AXA Group

Attendees

  • DEU    Achleitner, Paul M.    Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
  • DEU    Ackermann, Josef    Former CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
  • GBR    Agius, Marcus    Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group
  • FIN    Alahuhta, Matti    Member of the Board, KONE; Chairman, Aalto University Foundation
  • GBR    Alexander, Helen    Chairman, UBM plc
  • USA    Alexander, Keith B.    Former Comdr, U.S. Cyber Command; Former Director, NSA
  • USA    Altman, Roger C.    Executive Chairman, Evercore
  • FIN    Apunen, Matti    Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
  • DEU    Asmussen, Jörg    State Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs
  • HUN    Bajnai, Gordon    Former Prime Minister; Party Leader, Together 2014
  • GBR    Balls, Edward M.    Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • PRT    Balsemão, Francisco Pinto    Chairman, Impresa SGPS
  • FRA    Baroin, François    Member of Parliament (UMP); Mayor of Troyes
  • FRA    Baverez, Nicolas    Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • USA    Berggruen, Nicolas    Chairman, Berggruen Institute on Governance
  • ITA    Bernabè, Franco    Chairman, FB Group SRL
  • DNK    Besenbacher, Flemming    Chairman, The Carlsberg Group
  • NLD    Beurden, Ben van    CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
  • SWE    Bildt, Carl    Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • NOR    Brandtzæg, Svein Richard    President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
  • INT    Breedlove, Philip M.    Supreme Allied Commander Europe
  • AUT    Bronner, Oscar    Publisher, Der STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H.
  • SWE    Buskhe, Håkan    President and CEO, Saab AB
  • TUR    Çandar, Cengiz    Senior Columnist, Al Monitor and Radikal
  • ESP    Cebrián, Juan Luis    Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
  • FRA    Chalendar, Pierre-André de    Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain
  • CAN    Clark, W. Edmund    Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group
  • INT    Coeuré, Benoît    Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
  • IRL    Coveney, Simon    Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • GBR    Cowper-Coles, Sherard    Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
  • BEL    Davignon, Etienne    Minister of State
  • USA    Donilon, Thomas E.    Senior Partner, O’Melveny and Myers; Former U.S. NSA
  • DEU    Döpfner, Mathias    CEO, Axel Springer SE
  • GBR    Dudley, Robert    Group Chief Executive, BP plc
  • FIN    Ehrnrooth, Henrik    Chairman, Caverion Corporation, Otava and Pöyry PLC
  • ITA    Elkann, John    Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
  • DEU    Enders, Thomas    CEO, Airbus Group
  • DNK    Federspiel, Ulrik    Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
  • USA    Feldstein, Martin S.    Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
  • CAN    Ferguson, Brian    President and CEO, Cenovus Energy Inc.
  • GBR    Flint, Douglas J.    Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
  • ESP    García-Margallo, José Manuel    Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
  • USA    Gfoeller, Michael    Independent Consultant
  • TUR    Göle, Nilüfer    Professor of Sociology, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
  • USA    Greenberg, Evan G.    Chairman and CEO, ACE Group
  • GBR    Greening, Justine    Secretary of State for International Development
  • NLD    Halberstadt, Victor    Professor of Economics, Leiden University
  • USA    Hockfield, Susan    President Emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • NOR    Høegh, Leif O.    Chairman, Höegh Autoliners AS
  • NOR    Høegh, Westye    Senior Advisor, Höegh Autoliners AS
  • USA    Hoffman, Reid    Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
  • CHN    Huang, Yiping    Professor of Economics, National School of Development, Peking University
  • USA    Jackson, Shirley Ann    President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • USA    Jacobs, Kenneth M.    Chairman and CEO, Lazard
  • USA    Johnson, James A.    Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
  • USA    Karp, Alex    CEO, Palantir Technologies
  • USA    Katz, Bruce J.    Vice President and Co-Director, The Brookings Institution
  • CAN    Kenney, Jason T.    Minister of Employment and Social Development
  • GBR    Kerr, John    Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power
  • USA    Kissinger, Henry A.    Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
  • USA    Kleinfeld, Klaus    Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
  • TUR    Koç, Mustafa    Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
  • DNK    Kragh, Steffen    President and CEO, Egmont
  • USA    Kravis, Henry R.    Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
  • USA    Kravis, Marie-Josée    Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
  • CHE    Kudelski, André    Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
  • INT    Lagarde, Christine    Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
  • BEL    Leysen, Thomas    Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
  • USA    Li, Cheng    Director, John L.Thornton China Center,The Brookings Institution
  • SWE    Lifvendahl, Tove    Political Editor in Chief, Svenska Dagbladet
  • CHN    Liu, He    Minister, Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs
  • PRT    Macedo, Paulo    Minister of Health
  • FRA    Macron, Emmanuel    Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency
  • ITA    Maggioni, Monica    Editor-in-Chief, Rainews24, RAI TV
  • GBR    Mandelson, Peter    Chairman, Global Counsel LLP
  • USA    McAfee, Andrew    Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • PRT    Medeiros, Inês de    Member of Parliament, Socialist Party
  • GBR    Micklethwait, John    Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
  • GRC    Mitsotaki, Alexandra    Chair, ActionAid Hellas
  • ITA    Monti, Mario    Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University
  • USA    Mundie, Craig J.    Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
  • CAN    Munroe-Blum, Heather    Professor of Medicine,, McGill University
  • USA    Murray, Charles A.    W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise for Public Policy Research
  • NLD    Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the
  • ESP    Nin Génova, Juan María    Deputy Chairman and CEO, CaixaBank
  • FRA    Nougayrède, Natalie    Director and Executive Editor, Le Monde
  • DNK    Olesen, Søren-Peter    Professor; Member of the Board of Directors, The Carlsberg Foundation
  • FIN    Ollila, Jorma    Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc; Chairman, Outokumpu Plc
  • TUR    Oran, Umut    Deputy Chairman, Republican People’s Party (CHP)
  • GBR    Osborne, George    Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • FRA    Pellerin, Fleur    State Secretary for Foreign Trade
  • USA    Perle, Richard N.    Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • USA    Petraeus, David H.    Chairman, KKR Global Institute
  • CAN    Poloz, Stephen S.    Governor, Bank of Canada
  • INT    Rasmussen, Anders Fogh    Secretary General, NATO
  • DNK    Rasmussen, Jørgen Huno    Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Lundbeck Foundation
  • INT    Reding, Viviane    Vice President and Commissioner for Justice,European Commission
  • USA    Reed, Kasim    Mayor of Atlanta
  • CAN    Reisman, Heather M.    Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
  • NOR    Reiten, Eivind    Chairman, Klaveness Marine Holding AS
  • DEU    Röttgen, Norbert    Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag
  • USA    Rubin, Robert E.    Co-Chair, Council For’n Rel’ns; Former Secretary of the Treasury
  • USA    Rumer, Eugene    Senior Associate and Director, Russia Carnegie Endowment for Intnl Peace
  • NOR    Rynning-Tønnesen, Christian    President and CEO, Statkraft AS
  • NLD    Samsom, Diederik M.    Parliamentary Leader PvdA (Labour Party)
  • GBR    Sawers, John    Chief, Secret Intelligence Service
  • NLD    Scheffer, Paul J.    Author; Professor of European Studies, Tilburg University
  • NLD    Schippers, Edith    Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
  • USA   Schmidt, Eric E.    Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
  • AUT    Scholten, Rudolf    CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
  • USA    Shih, Clara    CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social
  • FIN    Siilasmaa, Risto K.    Chairman of the Board of Directors and Interim CEO, Nokia Corporation
  • ESP    Spain, H.M. the Queen of
  • USA    Spence, A. Michael    Professor of Economics, New York University
  • FIN    Stadigh, Kari    President and CEO, Sampo plc
  • USA   Summers, Lawrence H.    Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
  • IRL    Sutherland, Peter D.    Chairman, Goldman Sachs International;
  • SWE   Svanberg, Carl-Henric    Chairman, Volvo AB and BP plc
  • TUR    Taftal?, A. Ümit    Member of the Board, Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation
  • USA    Thiel, Peter A.    President, Thiel Capital
  • DNK    Topsøe, Henrik    Chairman, Haldor Topsøe A/S
  • GRC    Tsoukalis, Loukas    President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy
  • NOR    Ulltveit-Moe, Jens    Founder and CEO, Umoe AS
  • INT    Üzümcü, Ahmet    Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • CHE    Vasella, Daniel L.    Honorary Chairman, Novartis International
  • FIN    Wahlroos, Björn    Chairman, Sampo plc
  • SWE    Wallenberg, Jacob    Chairman, Investor AB
  • SWE    Wallenberg, Marcus    Chairman of the Board of Directors, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
  • USA    Warsh, Kevin M.    Distinguished Visiting Fellow and Lecturer, Stanford University
  • GBR    Wolf, Martin H.    Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
  • USA    Wolfensohn, James D.    Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
  • NLD    Zalm, Gerrit    Chairman of the Managing Board, ABN-AMRO Bank N.V.
  • GRC    Zanias, George    Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Greece
  • USA    Zoellick, Robert B.    Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group

And, broken down by country of origin:

Oddly, not many Russians in there…


UK Elections: Gap Closes by 10 Points in a Week as Corbyn up, May Down

  • The new leader of Britain

    The new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn makes his inaugural speech at the Queen Elizabeth Centre in central London. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 April 2017 (8 hours 32 minutes ago)
The Labour party leader gained six points with a 31 percent support, with May’s Tories dropped to 44 percent.

According to a YouGov poll, Theresa May’s lead over Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has dropped to 13 points from the 23-point lead enjoyed by the Tories just last week.

RELATED:
UK: Labour’s Corbyn Says Could Halt Syria Airstrikes If Elected

The Sunday poll showed the Labour party leader up by six points with a 31 percent support, with May’s Tories dropping to 44 percent, ahead of the June 8 UK general elections.

Other polls varied but showed a similar trend.

Poll aggregator Opinium placed the Labour Party up by four points with a 30 percent support, while May’s Conservative Party dropped to 44 percent.

The shift has been attributed to Theresa May’s inability to accept a public debate with Corbyn, with May refusing to appear in any one-on-one televised debates even though over 119,000 people signed a petition asking for a debate.

Meanwhile, support for the Liberal Democratic dropped by three points to 8 percent, The Independent reported. LibDem leader, Tim Farron, who called Corbyn the “worst leader in history,” was widely criticized for his views on LGBT community. In a recent interview with channel 4, when asked if he considers homosexuality a sin, he responded by saying he would not “make theological announcements.”

The far-right, ‘eurosceptic’ Ukip also saw a drop over the past few weeks and currently stands at 7 percent, a two-point dip from the previous week.

Just last week, Ukip leader Paul Nuttall came under fire for his ‘racist’ stance on Muslims after rolling out his plan to ban the burqa and sharia courts.

Labour’s Corbyn has repeatedly blasted what he calls a bias by media against him due to his left-wing policies, with studies showing most of the British public agree.

The Labour leader said a week ago that he would consider suspending the British involvement in airstrikes against Syria as an effort to minimize civilian deaths in the war-torn region. Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he believed that “the only solution in Syria is going to be a political one.”

RELATED: UK Could Join US in Future Syrian Strikes, Boris Johnson Says

“I want us to say ‘Listen, let’s get people around the table quickly’ and a way of achieving that – suspending the strikes, possibly.”

Boris Johnson, Tory foreign secretary, slammed Corbyn calling him a “threat to national security” who had no “grasp of the need for Britain to be strong in the world.”

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