Just 10 days before the first round of the presidential election, the AAPA met Dominique Reynié, founder of the think tank Fondapol, on April Fools’ Day.

Summarizing recent political history in France, Reynié dismissed the widely vaunted idea that each improved election performance by the far-right was an “accident”. On the contrary, “something was happening.” In its disappointment with the left, the working class had turned to the far-right.

And the Socialist Party has done nothing to win back its historic base, Reynié said. The difference between the 2017 and 2022 presidential elections was that Macron himself was outside the system and Le Pen was anti-system for the first time. This time Le Pen is still anti-system, but Macron “is the system.”

With a presidential victory behind him, it would be “perfect” if Macron’s party, now named Renaissance, and some allies won a parliamentary majority. “He would (at least) be able to govern, even if it is difficult.”

Reynié was not worried by the demise of the traditional left or right. Much more serious for him is the lack of any political party in France capable of functioning democratically. This means ensuring that all interests are represented among the candidates fielded for the legislative elections and the party manifestos.

Reynié was critical of governments right and left that had failed to tackle France’s huge public debt. The public reproaches governments for not reforming the country, but they «want reform that only affects their neighbor»