PM Borne resignation launches Macron's governmental overhaul
After much discussion, and several major parliamentary combats, Élisabeth Borne's time as Prime Minister of France has come to an end. But who could replace her?
After one year and 237 days of guiding two governments through a violently turbulent Assemblée National, divided between the relative Macronist majority and an extremely aggressive far-left and far-right, Elisabeth Borne’s time has come to an end.
After a year that saw the government bombarded with political crises, including mass riots, and heavily contested reforms of the pension system and immigration laws, French President Emmanuel Macron has decided that it’s time for a change.
When he discussed a new political initiative in a December speech, many tongues began to wag again, with rumours of a government reshuffle being raised for the nth time in so many months, with constant rumours of friction between Borne and Macron.
And unfortunately the time came for the axe to fall, with Borne traveling to the Elysée yesterday for an hour-long discussion with the President, where this resignation was undoubtedly requested, and the current set of events launched.
With Emmanuel Macron attempting to revive his second quinquennat, and a European election to fight over the next six months. it was only natural for this to happen, and now all thoughts are turning towards the reshuffle.
Now, we all wait and see who will take over the post, which has been described as a “poison chalice” by some.
Will the rumours of the immensely talented Gabriel Attal ascending to the post and becoming the youngest Prime Minister in French history prove to be true? It’s hard to say, with the looming presidential candidates that he has around him as competition.
It could prove to be a smart idea, with Attal being a strong, young candidate to lead the Macronists into the European Parliamentary Elections against Marine Le Pen’s increasingly powerful and popular protégé: Jordan Bardella.
With the Rassemblement National currently sitting between eight and ten points ahead of Renaissance in polls, this could prove to be a strong decision.
However, the lack of experience, and the potential for discord within the ranks could prove this to be a dangerous move for both Attal and Renaissance as a party.
Sebastien Lecornu, the 37 year old Defence minister, is another name touted by many who would also be France’s youngest ever prime minister.
Having led the charge on the Military Programming Act and secured a huge increase in short-term (€32 billion in 2017 to €69 billion in 2030) and long-term (€413 billion from 2024 to 2030), his successes could make him a strong candidate.
Julien Denormandie, another Macronist from the beginning, is another name that has been circulated, but all of these candidates have three major problems:
The three heirs apparent: Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, and former PM Edouard Philippe.
A political heavyweight could be what Macron believes he needs for the European elections, someone with the experience to tackle the increasingly problematic rise of the far-right, who have taken a heavy lead on the liberal presidential coalition.
Unfortunately, there’s a huge risk with this with presidential camps slowly beginning to form around the potential candidates, three years ahead of the 2027 presidential election, the potential for internal discord could be deemed to high for this.
However, risk is ever present with the three heirs apparent looking to crush any and all opposition to their eventual rise to power, and any potential speedbump on their way to an increasingly fraught showdown with Marine Le Pen.
This is being borne out in the counter-briefings being made, with all three candidates targeting the rumours of Attal’s crowning with various nonchalant attacks, with none of the candidates wanting to pass out a chance to get ahead.
Not only this, but much of all these potential Prime Ministerial political fortunes will depend heavily on the state of the government following the reshuffle, and how well the future PM and their team manage to achieve Emmanuel Macron’s goals.
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