Emmanuel Macron has suffered a backlash in the polls after a “blatant” vote-grabbing stunt backfired. The French President, who insists he is not yet campaigning for next year’s elections, invited two YouTuber influencers called Carlito and McFly into the Elysée Palace for an “entertainment special”. However, Rym Momtaz, the Paris correspondent for Politico, told France24 the stunt backfired after coming off too “blatantly” as an attempt to appeal to young voters.
Ms Momtaz said: “It is him campaigning. It is him running for president – even though his advisors insist he is not yet running, that he is focused on delivering results.
“This is part of their comms approach – to make him more relatable, to make him more human.
“I think Emmanuel Macron remains popular among the 18 to 24 year olds, although some like Le Pen.
“The issue with this young electorate is that it is very flimsy and there is a high level of abstention on election day.”
She continued: “In fact, the 24 to 30-year-old millennial voters actually tip more towards Marine Le Pen.
“So I’m still trying to understand what Emmanuel Macron thinks he is going to get out of trying to address this younger electorate, just so blatantly.”
Ms Momtaz said many people in France are not sure “what Macron stands for”.
She told France24: “We saw in this video Macron being laidback, but what is problematic is that since being elected he has appeared as a solemn president so now this entertainment thing goes against that.
Support for Ms Le Pen increased by three points in the last month and the poll suggests she would win up to 30 percent of the first vote.
The survey suggests, in the second round run-off vote, Mr Macron would go on to win a second term in office with 54 percent support to Ms Le Pen’s 46 percent.
Mr Macron has divided opinion in recent months, attracting criticism for his handling of the pandemic and his security bill proposals.
Sebastian Roche, a senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, says that Mr Macron’s security laws could cost him the election.
He warned Mr Macron has lost all of his left-wing base while the right-wing electorate are divided between him and Ms Le Pen.
Mr Roche said: “Macron was elected as being left-wing and right-wing, and he offered a well-balanced program.
“But he has almost exclusively implemented right-wing policies, and opinion polls show we are now at a watershed: Macron has lost the support of almost all his left-wing voters.”