Presidential election

Can Joe Biden go on?

20 min listen

The dust has settled from the TV debate that was catastrophic for Joe Biden. What are the possible options going forward? Are things changing behind the scenes? Freddy Gray assesses the situation with Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest. 

The mysteries and rituals of French democracy

Montpellier I have never voted in an election for president of France, not being French. But as a councillor in my commune, before Brexit brought my promising French political career to a screeching halt, disqualifying me from municipal politics, it was among my duties to count the votes of others. It’s election day in France, the first round of the 2022 presidential race, and there are 12 candidates in the running. The top two will face off in a second round in two weeks. It’s expected that these will be the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron, and Marine Le Pen, in a rerun of the 2017 election that Macron won 66 to

Macron has taken this election for granted

Things are going from bad to worse for Emmanuel Macron, and for the first time political commentators in France are considering the possibility that he might not win a second term. The latest poll, carried out for Le Figaro, has him one point ahead of Marine Le Pen in the voting intentions of the people canvassed. Brexit and Trump have taught us not to put all our trust in polls but there’s no denying that Macron’s election campaign is in trouble. As I wrote yesterday, this time last month he was 18 points clear of Le Pen and a racing certainty for a second term. Where has it gone so

Could Marine Le Pen actually win?

Emmanuel Macron is worried. This wasn’t how he had envisaged the election. A month ago the president of France held a staggering 18 point lead in the polls and, as he looked over his shoulder in the home straight, he could barely make out Marine Le Pen in the distance. Now the gap is four points and she is breathing down his neck as the finish line approaches. Le Pen is one of Europe’s more interesting politicians. The daughter of Jean-Marie, the founder of her National Front party – which she rebranded National Rally in 2018 – and the aunt of Marion Maréchal, she has always been considered something of

France’s political elite created Eric Zemmour

Love him or loathe him, Eric Zemmour is a breath of fresh air in French politics. Before he appeared as a contender it was the usual worn-out figures lining up for next year’s presidential election: Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Xavier Bertrand, Valérie Pécresse and Arnaud Montebourg. None of them have anything new to say and, even if they did, the electorate have stopped listening. Same old same old. Zemmour, on the other hand, despite the fact he has yet to declare his candidacy, makes for compelling TV. He was at it again on Wednesday evening, this time calling gender conversion therapy ‘criminal’ and comparing its medical facilitators in the

Is Trump toning himself down for re-election?

The last time a U.S. President lost re-election, the year was 1992 and the victim was George H.W. Bush. President Donald Trump is currently doing everything in his power to make sure he isn’t the first incumbent in 28 years to vacate the White House after a single, four-year term; if that means ditching the improvisation and unconventionality he wears on his lapel every day, so be it. That Trump gave two consecutive press conferences, on 21 and 22 July, about the coronavirus now rampaging the American South and West is not surprising. You may remember this past April, when Trump and his advisers thought it would be a good

The three reasons Bernie Sanders couldn’t beat Joe Biden

He took nearly a month to assess the state of his campaign after a whopping 15-point defeat in the crucial battleground state of Michigan. But after private deliberations with his wife, Jane, and some lobbying from his senior political advisers, Bernie Sanders came to the conclusion that continuing his presidential campaign would likely do more harm than good. On Wednesday he decided to call it quits, telling his supporters that there was ‘no alternative’. Mathematically, he was right. Sanders was trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by over 300 delegates in the primaries and would have needed to win over 60 per cent of the remaining delegates to capture the Democratic