And Dr Joseph Downing, an LSE Fellow in Nationalism on the LSE’s European Institute, stated such was the impression Mr Bertrand had made on account of his robust displaying in France’s current regional elections that subsequent 12 months’s election was “his to lose” – particularly given Mr Macron’s “extreme unpopularity”. With each his Le Marche and Ms Le Pen’s far-right Nationwide Rally carried out dismally within the elections, held on June 20 and June 27 throughout 17 French areas, from Ile-de-France, which incorporates Paris, to Guadaloupe, the Caribbean island which is considered one of France’s abroad departments.
Against this, Mr Bertrand, of Les Republicains (the Republicans) was convincingly re-elected because the President of the Regional Council of the Hautes-de-France area, choosing up 52.37 % of the vote – greater than double that of closest rival, Nationwide Rally’s Sebastien Chenu.
Dr Downing informed Categorical.co.uk: “It is very interesting because to a certain degree his party are slightly lukewarm on him with some sources calling for a open Republican primary to select a candidate:
“However, this non-withstanding, I think the election could well be his to lose.”
He defined: “Macron is extremely unpopular and Le Pen it seems has failed to capture the imagination of the mainstream.
“At this point we can say that her rebranding of her party has been a failure.
“Additionally, a right-wing candidate would be ‘right’ enough to split the possible support of both Macron and Le Pen.”
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“I think if they had put in an old tarnished face like Sarkozy or Juppe, Le Pen could have won.
“With Bertrand she’s over for this election unless he has something #MeToo sexual harassment related in the closet or some financial irregularities circa Fillon and the fake jobs scandal last time, as he was the clear favourite last time and his demise really handed It to Macron.”
Talking after his robust displaying, Mr Bertrand informed enterprise every day Les Echos: “Now the presidential contest is a three-horse race.
The former salesman claimed his party provided a bulwark against the far right, earlier saying he had “smashed the jaws of the Entrance Nationwide”, referring to the old name of Le Pen’s party.
An IPSOS/Sopra Steria poll published on June 27 showed Bertrand’s popularity climbing nationwide.
It projected he would win 18 percent of the first round presidential vote, up several points on previous polls and narrowing the gap on Macron and Le Pen.
A survey published by OpinionWay, also on June 27, put Mr Macron on 26 percent, Ms Le Pen on 24 percent, and Mr Bertrand on 20 percent.
Mr Bertrand paints himself as a straight-talker capable of connecting with voters in provincial France.
Speaking last month, one Republican politician said: “He needs to make the centre-right electorate who left us for Macron want to vote for him.
“However he isn’t essentially the most glamorous of candidates, and that issues considerably.”