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Macron so 'hated on the ground' he is told to avoid campaigning ahead of French election

Emmanuel Macron’s seemingly plunging popularity has prompted politicians to ask the centrist French President to avoid the campaign trail, it has been claimed.

French voters are heading to the polling stations for the second turn of the parliamentary election on Sunday.

After the strong performance of the far-right National Rally at the first turn on June 30, many of the weaker candidates on the left and centre blocs have agreed to withdraw from the race to avoid splitting the vote and to boost their chance of staving off the rise of Marine Le Pen’s party.

Among the outgoing MPs who pulled out from the July 7 run-off are Bruno Millienne, the outgoing Democratic Movement MP for Yvelines, who claimed Mr Macron is detrimental to the centre-left campaign.

He said in an interview: “Yes, I told the Élysée, he is hated on the ground. And we’re paying dearly for this detestation and it’s unfair.”

Mr Macron has also been quietly removed from election material including leaflets to boost the chances of the centre-left, it has been claimed.

An unnamed minister told French news outlet Le Parisien that canvassers door-knocking ahead of the European elections last month found many voters reacted negatively to the president’s face on campaign literature.

Christophe Béchu, minister of ecological transition, publicly admitted Mr Macron had grown tiresome for some, although stressing in an interview with TF1 that this “wear and tear” is common to “all presidents of the Fifth Republic”.

In lieu of Mr Macron, the centrist coalition has made Gabriel Attal, France’s Prime Minister, the face of its campaign.

The anti-immigration, hard-right National Front surged to 34 percent while the leftist coalition New Popular Front gained 28.1 percent during the first turn, according to exit polls. The Together coalition representing Mr Macron’s party came in third with 20.3 percent.

Mr Macron surprisingly called a snap parliamentary elections in the wake of the crushing victory by Ms Le Pen’s party at the European elections in early June, a political gamble criticised by many as it risks handing a huge majority to the far-right.


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