100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
The left has finally got its act together – in France. Watch out, Macron and Le Pen
A new alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party will fight June’s legislative elections – and threatens the established order, says…
Hunger-striking baker Stéphane Ravacley’s latest campaign is to become French MP
After working as a baker for decades, Stéphane Ravacley won fame in France for going on a hunger strike to…
Emmanuel who? Far-right fighting hard-left for French vote
The stakes are high, the fight nasty and the party of centrist President Emmanuel Macron is the one to beat
Former French PM Cresson lambasts sexism at the heart of political class
Former prime minister Edith Cresson on Sunday hit out at the sexism rife in the upper echelons of the French…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
The Guardian view on the newly united French left: beyond the fragments
Editorial: A common slate of candidates for June’s legislative elections can help progressive forces make their voices count
French mayor reignites burkini row with pool rule proposal
Grenoble mayor wants swimmers to dress ‘how they like’, including topless or in full-body suits
Get all your news in one place
Latest National news:
A Triple La Niña Is Apparently Coming For Us And Has Anyone Tried Politely Asking Her To Stop?
Things are about to get wetter than a Harry Styles concert.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
'Society abhors attacks of this nature': Coward punch victim on liquid diet for months
The drunken assailant who put the victim in hospital has been sentenced to a two-year intensive correction order.
Clifford set to return for Newcastle Knights against Warriors
Knights coach Adam O'Brien named his side on Tuesday.
Surplus slammed but uni says it's a one off
"We're not generating huge amounts of money that we obviously would want to share with staff and students if we…
High number of invalid votes in culturally diverse seats prompts concerns after federal election
Big disparities in the informal vote across the nation spark fresh questions about compulsory preferential voting
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Family's heartbreaking message of sorrow, and plea to driver still evading police
Victim's family expresses its sorrow, and calls for driver to surrender to police.
PM says ‘no change’ on Taiwan – as it happened
This blog is now closed

How far left will President Macron lean in his choice of prime minister?

Former French minister for social affairs, health and women's rights, Marisol Touraine, is a contender for the top government job. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Recently re-elected centre-right French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to take account of the groundswell of revolt that saw the political extremes attract record numbers of voters. Macron's choice of leader for the new government will be crucial. Could Jean-Luc Mélenchon get the job?

Macron's second five years at the helm officially kick off on Saturday.

Comfortably re-elected in the wake of a divisive campaign, the president now faces the challenge of turning the page on five years of rule seen by many as too distant from everyday concerns.

He has promised to be nothing less than "a new president for the new mandate".

Rejected by more than 50 percent of those who voted in the first round of the presidential election in April, Macron has to find a way of shifting his image from that of the arrogant, élitist, former merchant banker who has no idea how difficult life can be for many French workers.

The composition of Macron's new government, likely to be named early next week, will be a first indication of presidential determination to move on, especially if Macron names a left-wing figure as his prime minister.

Mélenchon, man of the people

Far-left leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is convinced he's the man for the job.

He finished third in the presidential shake-down, and has called on voters to "elect him prime minister" by handing the left a National Assembly majority which will enable them to block the centrist president's reforms.

A forced "cohabitation" between Macron and Mélenchon would be the first in two decades, but observers say that such a scenario remains unlikely, despite the alliance deal linking the left-of-centre parties with a view to winning an overall leftist majority in the June parliamentary polls.

The new allies have agreed on Mélenchon's core policy proposals, including raising the minimum wage, reducing the retirement age to 60 and rolling back controversial labour market reforms.

Deep differences, notably on the question of French European committments, remain.

And not all members of the various alliance partners have been prepared to play by the rules laid down on sharing potentially winnable constituencies. Hollande-era former minister, Stephane Le Foll, has already called for rejection of the pact and has promised to lead a separate campaign.

Inflation at 1999 levels

A shaky left-wing coalition is not Macron's only concern.

Inflation is at its most intense since France adopted the european single currency in 1999; economic growth is slow; most of those questioned by opinion pollsters say their crucial worry is the widening gap between their spending power and rapidly rising prices, even for basic goods and services.

Conscious that "the hour is grave," Macron has promised a new approach, based on the respect of all players . . . parliament, the bosses and trade unions, the driving forces of society.

François Hollande, Macron's predecessor in the top job says, with perhaps a hint of scepticism, "let's hope that this method which has still to take a definitive shape will enable the country to rebuild self-confidence."

Madame La Première Ministre?

First of all, while waiting for the verdict from the polling stations, Emmanuel Macron has to name a government to replace the team led by Jean Castex, all of whom formally resigned on Wednesday.

The political commentators are sure the president will choose a woman from a socialist background, someone with considerable parliamentary experience.

Which would leave Emmanuel Macron with a choice between Marisol Touraine, Hollande's Social Affairs Minister, and Audrey Azoulay, the Unesco boss, another minister in the last Socialist government.

Except that former Socialists are not at all in favour with the majority of left-wing voters. And a refugee from the Hollande era might scare away right-wing support, used to seeing Macron choose his government chief from the ranks of the right.

The Republic on the Move principle which consits in taking the best from the right, the best from the left, and the best from civil society makes it sound easy.

It is anything but.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
The left has finally got its act together – in France. Watch out, Macron and Le Pen
A new alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party will fight June’s legislative elections – and threatens the established order, says…
Hunger-striking baker Stéphane Ravacley’s latest campaign is to become French MP
After working as a baker for decades, Stéphane Ravacley won fame in France for going on a hunger strike to…
Emmanuel who? Far-right fighting hard-left for French vote
The stakes are high, the fight nasty and the party of centrist President Emmanuel Macron is the one to beat
Former French PM Cresson lambasts sexism at the heart of political class
Former prime minister Edith Cresson on Sunday hit out at the sexism rife in the upper echelons of the French…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
The Guardian view on the newly united French left: beyond the fragments
Editorial: A common slate of candidates for June’s legislative elections can help progressive forces make their voices count
French mayor reignites burkini row with pool rule proposal
Grenoble mayor wants swimmers to dress ‘how they like’, including topless or in full-body suits
Get all your news in one place