Macron election nightmare with ‘part-Thatcher’ rival set to steal votes in tough campaign

Angela Merkel says she will ‘miss Emmanuel Macron’

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The Conservative Les Republicans party, unveiled Valerie Pecresse as their candidate for next April’s election. Ms Pecresse, who dubbed herself “one-third Thatcher”, is third in the polls and may well steal vital votes from Mr Macron as he seeks re-election. While Ms Pecresse may not win the election, her influence could even the balance between the current French President and his rival, Marine Le Pen.

In an attack against Mr Macron, the new candidate labelled the current President as lacking the ambition to affect change.

She said: “Between the incumbent and myself, there is more than a difference of political line, there is a difference of character.

“He has only one ambition, to please, whereas I have only one passion, to get things done.

“I know what difficult fights are, I know I can win them, I am a woman who wins and achieves things.”

According to Politico’s polling data, current figures place Mr Pecresse in third place with 10 percent for the first round of primary results next year.

Mr Macron has 24 percent of the vote, while Ms Le Pen, leader of Front Nationale, is predicted to win 19 percent of the vote.

Speaking last week, Ms Pecresse added: “I’ve got good news.

“The Republican right is back, the right that stands up for its beliefs is back and France can wait no longer.

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“Together we will restore French pride and protect the French.”

Ms Pecresse is also the first female candidate for the Les Republicains party.

She has pledged to raise the retirement age to 65, cut public-sector jobs and take a hardline stance against immigration.

Independent far-right candidate, Eric Zemmour is predicted to win 14 percent of the vote.

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Mr Zemmour has formulated his own campaign around controlling immigration.

He has also likened himself to Boris Johnson, despite some commentators drawing parallels to Donald Trump.

He told The Times: “Indeed, I have been compared for months to Donald Trump. In fact I am much more like Boris Johnson. Think about it.

“We’re both former journalists. We both wrote history books, for him Churchill, for me the history of France, Napoleon and de Gaulle.

“We do have a lot in common and above all he pulled off an electoral strategy that I propose to implement: an alliance of the working class and that part of the patriotic bourgeoisie who wish to restore French sovereignty and defend an identity tragically under threat.”

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