Amid promises of “change,” Emmanuel Macron and his team assured on Sunday that governance will be more collaborative in case of victory, while the New Popular Front is mired in leadership battles for the prime minister’s seat.

Despite his camp struggling in the polls, Macron vowed to “act until May 2027,” countering suggestions from some opponents, led by Marine Le Pen, that he would be forced to resign in case of defeat.

Among his promises are “much stronger and firmer responses” to “insecurity and impunity.” “The next government will need to overhaul child policy, better protect our youth, and fight more vigorously against all forms of discrimination,” he also emphasized, noting the “strong demand for social justice.”

Macron admitted that “the way of governing must profoundly change.” This sentiment is widely shared by his followers, starting with Gabriel Attal, who is confident in defying the odds in a highly polarized political landscape centered around three main options: the National Rally (RN) and its right-wing allies, credited with 35% to 36% of the vote according to weekend polls; the New Popular Front (27% to 29.5%); and Macron’s camp, trailing behind (19.5% to 22%).

Echoing this, and as his coalition members extend hands to both the right and the left, Macron expressed a desire for a government that “will unite republicans of diverse sensibilities who have courageously opposed the extremes.”


Meanwhile, the left-wing alliance has again become bogged down in speculation about its candidate for the prime minister’s position. On Saturday night, Jean-Luc Mélenchon reignited the debate by declaring his “intention to govern this country.”

“If I have a message to convey, it’s that Jean-Luc Mélenchon, if he wants to serve the New Popular Front, needs to step aside and remain silent,” former President François Hollande, himself a candidate in Corrèze, snapped back to journalists on Sunday.

Driving the point home, he added, “When there is more rejection of Jean-Luc Mélenchon than of (Marine) Le Pen or (Jordan) Bardella, there comes a time when one must be aware of the general interest.”

The National Secretary of the Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, issued a statement protesting that Mélenchon’s potential appointment to Matignon had “never been agreed upon by the New Popular Front.” “It is false and intolerable,” he added.

Mélenchon responded to Hollande from Montpellier, where he was holding a rally, asserting that “popularity is not on the side he believes,” as boos from the audience were heard when he mentioned the former president’s name.

While Jordan Bardella’s leadership is uncontested in the National Rally for the prime minister’s position, questions about his ability to lead the country provide ammunition for his adversaries.

“I deeply believe that the National Rally is not ready to govern,” Gabriel Attal reiterated on Sunday, mocking the “suspensive conditions” set by the party leader, who demands an absolute majority to accept the position of prime minister.

“Yes, a hundred times yes, we are ready, and we have expanded our capacity for unity,” responded RN deputy Sébastien Chenu on Radio J, as his party is set to unveil its “priorities for a national unity government” on Monday morning.

Eager to straighten out its image and program, the RN provided an illustration of this on Sunday, with Chenu stating that “slaughter without stunning,” which Marine Le Pen has long opposed for producing halal or kosher meat, would remain authorized if the RN came to power.

Jérémy Marot and Sami Acef with AFP