France ‘hasn’t got a leg to stand on’ says Iain Duncan Smith
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Emmanuel Macron will face off against a host of adversaries next year, Marine Le Pen and ex-EU negotiator Michel Barnier among them. Many of them have made inroads amongst the French public in early polls, especially Ms Le Pen. According to recent polls, she is cultivating a growing lead and one leading Conservative MP suspects that may have caused the French president to launch a new campaign on the UK.
Mr Macron recently lodged several new threats against British authorities amid rows over fishing quotas.
The debate has focused on fishing licenses, with anger mounting after the UK rejected dozens requested by French boats to fish in their waters.
French officials had threatened to bar British vessels from their ports if both parties could not resolve the issue.
The dramatic declaration would see retaliations commence next week, from November 2, as Downing Street branded the move “disappointing and disproportionate”.
Former Conservative leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, took the criticism to another level.
Speaking to TalkRadio, the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green claimed the move stems from a drop in his popularity.
He claimed Mr Macron “isn’t that popular”, and wants to “pull the tail of the lion” to gain some momentum.
Mr Duncan Smith added this was what “French politicians always do” when they “get a bit stuck”.
And the graph below certainly suggests Mr Macron has an upward battle when it comes to polling day next year.
The chart, created by Statista using data from IFOP, found that the French leader’s support is plummeting; in May 2017 he recorded an approval rating of 66 percent, against 40 percent in June 2020.
Meanwhile, his disapproval rating has reached new highs, in a worrying blow for Mr Macron and his party.
In May 207, only 30 percent of people disapproved of the politician, but this reached staggering highs of 69 percent in September 2018 and 72 percent in December that year.
And while it has fallen slightly since then, Mr Macron has not recovered well. The latest survey in June should 60 percent disapproved of him.
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Mr Macron’s support is currently trending downwards, according to Politico’s Poll of Polls.
The site, which collates data from a selection of polls and plots them onto one graph, found his support has fallen away over the last month.
Although he is still atop the list of potential candidates likely to win in the 2022 election, he recently forfeited some would-be voters.
He currently has roughly 23 percent of the prospective vote, down from 24 percent on October 11.
At the same time, Ms Le Pen is rallying support. She has made a one percent gain over the same period, rising from 16 percent to 17 percent – though this comes after dipping significantly in recent weeks, having previously been neck-and-neck with the premier.
Politico’s analysts expect Mr Macron is still on course to win the race, however.
They estimate that while he will go into the second round against Ms Le Pen, he could still win with 56 percent of the vote to his far-right opponent’s 44 percent.
Ms Le Pen is currently struggling for favour as well, as Politico puts her four points behind her position in 2017.
During her second bid for the presidency, she had support from a projected 21.3 percent of French voters.
Her real-world performance has also fallen short, with results from the June regional elections showing that her voter base is stagnating.
The National Rally performed worse than expected this year, with many traditional supporters lacking the motivation to vote for her anti-immigration “keeping France for the French” policies.
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