Emmanuel Macron warning: President ‘should be worried’ ahead of France’s 2022 election

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The French President will be casting one eye in the direction of the next year’s election, where he will once again be challenged by right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen. Polls in recent months show National Rally leader Ms Le Pen is hot on the Mr Macron’s heels. Ifop has put both candidates at around 25 percent, although the last survey had Mr Macron up by one point on 28 percent. However, the pollster did have Ms Le Pen one point up in another recent survey.

Mr Macron has shifted his rhetoric to the right in recent weeks, attempting to pass new laws to drive home his emphasis on law and order.

However, the new policies on security, law and order have sparked heated debate in France – highlighting major divisions in the country.

Mr Macron will be looking to avoid a result similar to that of the European elections in 2019, where his rivals mopped up much of the rural and deindustrialised areas of northern, south-central and eastern France.

Christophe Guilluy, a leading political geographer, warned after the vote: “Macron’s electorate is besieged. They’re living in these new medieval strongholds. And it’s the periphery that is setting the agenda.”

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Mr Guilliy wrote a book in which he set out the idea of a “peripheral France”, predicting the rise of the Yellow Vest protesters.

In a message to Mr Macron’s supporters, Mr Guilluy added: “They should be worried.

“The big cities, the metropolises, they are transforming themselves into citadels, surrounded by the working classes. This is big, and we saw it in the Yellow Vest movement.”

The Yellow Vests is a populist movement campaigning for economic justice that began in France in October 2018.

They have become notorious for huge protests in Paris which are still occurring today.

The movement saw demonstrators hit out at fuel taxes initially, but this anger broadened to other issues.

Academic and journalist Paul Taylor highlighted how Mr Macron’s economic woes during the coronavirus pandemic could cost him the presidency in 2022.

In fact, he claimed in his article for Politico that the French President “will need an economic miracle, and a lot of luck with the pandemic, to keep his crown”.

His claim came after a difficult year in France as a result of Covid-19.

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Forecasts late last year predicted that the French economy would contract by around 11 percent in 2020.

He has also faced backlash for his new laws, aiming to restrict protests, protect police and combat radicalism.

The legislation aimed to increase police protections, making it a criminal offence to publish images of on-duty officers with the intent of harming their “physical or psychological integrity”.

In November, between 133,000 and 500,000 people demonstrated in more than 70 cities across France against a proposed security law.

Eventually, Mr Macron succumbed to public pressure, and ditched the controversial bill.

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