32 per cent people plan to vote for Republique en Marche in the first round on June 11.
Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist party has stretched its lead in the polls ahead of parliamentary elections next month, new survey data showed on Thursday, adding to the positive momentum for the 39-year-old leader. A survey from the Harris Interactive group showed 32 per cent of people planned to vote for Macron’s Republique en Marche (REM) in the first round of parliamentary elections on June 11.
That was a three-point gain from the week before and a six-point gain from 10 days ago, with the rightwing Republicans and far-right National Front down slightly over the last week at 19 percent.
Macron faces a crucial four weeks having named his first 22-member cross-party government which held its inaugural meeting on Thursday morning at the presidential palace.
Led by rightwing Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, it includes a mix of Socialist, centrist and Republicans figures as well as newcomers including an Olympic fencing champion and a star environmentalist. Half are women.
Philippe told France Inter radio on Thursday that the Cabinet had been chosen to last and was “in line with the political renewal that we are in the process of putting in place.”
Another survey published Thursday by the Elabe polling group showed that 61 percent of French people approved of the new faces, many of whom were taking their first steps into public life.
French newspapers saw the choice of Philippe as PM and the handing of important economic portfolios to rightwingers Bruno Le Maire and Gerald Darmanin as a clear indication of Macron’s priorities. “Macron on the move to the centre-right,” headlined right-leaning newspaper Le Figaro, while left-leaning Liberation headlined its coverage of the line-up “Mostly of the right.”
Having been an advisor and economy minister under Socialist Francois Hollande, Macron was accused by critics of being too left-wing during the vicious poll campaign.
Socialist party chief Jean-Christophe Cambadelis said Macron’s government “of the right and for the right” would “imperil protections for workers, drastically reduce the number of civil servants and smash public services.”