It may be the worst kept secret in France but Eric Zemmour will tomorrow announce his candidacy for his country's presidential election, according to a source on his campaign team.
It is, in one sense, confirmation of the obvious: it's been clear for some months now to everyone who follows French politics that Monsieur Z is running for the Élysée Palace in 2022. His supposed book promotion tour was nakedly a series of political campaign rallies. Two days ago he released a campaign; now it is about to become official.
But the timing is nonetheless interesting since Zemmour has had a difficult few days. The polls suggest his soaring popularity has lost a little momentum. His trip to London on the 19 and 20 November was fraught with aggravation. Mayor Sadiq Khan told him he wasn’t welcome. The Royal Institution cancelled his event. The Prime Minister and the Tory party stopped Conservatives from meeting him.
A few days later, the story broke that Zemmour aide and mistress Sarah Knafo, was pregnant with his child. It’s has also been rumoured that he hasn’t got enough support among French deputies to validate his bid for the Presidency. This lead to more will-he-won’t-he speculation about his next political move.
Perhaps however he succeeded in raising some much needed funds for his campaign from the British capital’s many well-off French residents. Last weekend he released an expensive looking TV ad and now it seems that Zemmour presidential campaign is up and running. President Macron, the man he hopes to remove from power, has also yet to formally announce.
Steerpike looks forward to following this clash with interest, given Zemmour's many controversial pronouncements on Brexit and the border crisis among others.