Macron's decision to dissolve the assembly and call new elections is smart and the right move. Either the incoherence of the RN program becomes clear during the campaign and it loses the election. Or the RN wins, gets to govern and quickly makes a mess of it. In this case, we get two bad years, compared to five if they won the 2027 elections.


1. The “program” of the Rassemblement National is a pure opposition platform, an aggregation of gifts to those with legitimate or illegitimate complaints. It is not a program.
2. Like all such platforms, it is fiscally irresponsible. Gifts cost money. The money is not there, at least not in the program. In any program, saying that financing will come largely from the elimination of fraud is a giveaway. So is the notion that anti-immigrants’ measures will yield considerable revenues.
3. Like most populist platform, it is purely defensive. No serious reforms in sight. Protectionism as the solution. Tariffs will protect producers at the expense of consumers. The notion that France can choose from the European rules a la carte is either an illusion or a lie. There will be retortion measures. French exporters will suffer.
4. Like any put together list of popular promises, there is nothing like a growth strategy, nothing about how to reduce unemployment, how to help France remain competitive in the sectors that will sustain growth and allow for redistribution.
5. Almost surely, implementing this “program” will lead firms to invest less, domestic and foreign investors to worry, get out or ask for risk premia. They will be accused of being “speculators,” but this will not change the fact, a likely crisis and a serious recession.
6. The optimists will say. Do not worry. They will do like Meloni and not follow through with their program. But no program, while better than a bad one, is not good enough.


Hard to resist playing political scientist. Based on current estimations (yes, stuff can happen...), RN and NFP will each get around 40% of the seats, and the center an amazing low 20%. If so, it is very hard to see how Macron can form any government. RN will not work with NFP. NFP will not work with RN. Attracting 15% from each side in a center coalition to get a center majority seems impossible. So no government and paralysis for some time seems the most plausible outcome.


Continuing (unwisely) the amateur real time politology. It appears that there are many more voters who like the idea of a large center than voters who like the current president. This suggests having many of the leaders of the center, from Philippe, to Attal, to Larcher, to Castex, to Le Maire, to Beaune, to others (it should have included Glucksman...), play a central role in the campaign, not hiding their diversity of views, but showing that there is a center alternative to RN.