Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller, who lives near Montpellier, is the author of ‘France, a Nation on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ (Gibson Square). His Twitter handle is: @lefoudubaron

France’s new prime minister will never overshadow Macron

Meet Élisabeth Borne, the new prime minister of France. Borne has hardly worked a day in the private sector. She is a technocrat to her bone marrow. She has never been elected to anything. And she will never, ever threaten president Emmanuel Macron. ‘She’s like Jean Castex (the outgoing prime minister) in drag, without the

Macron’s main opponent is now Mélenchon, not Le Pen

Here we go again. Exhausted by a presidential campaign that ultimately produced the same choice as in 2017 (and the same result), French voters go to the polls again on June 12 and June 19 to vote for their National Assembly. Quite possibly with the same results as last time. The denizens of the Café

How Duterte Harry’s legacy of terror lives on in the Philippines

Something momentous is building in the Philippines. Thirty-six years after the kleptocratic despot, Ferdinand Marcos, fled into exile with his family and 300 crates of loot aboard a US airforce transport plane, his only son, Ferdinand Marcos Junior is on course to win Monday’s presidential election. He’s known by his nickname ‘Bongbong’ and is not

Can anyone stop Emmanuel Macron?

If they weren’t insufficiently weary of politicians, the French will be invited to vote all over again for the Assemblée Nationale, the nation’s parliament, on 12 and 19 June. Citizen lassitude notwithstanding, the election may produce a louder, if not assuredly more effective, opposition to the prolongated reign of the second Sun King, the newly

The French have voted for the lesser of two evils

Few scenes of jubilation as Emmanuel Macron was re-elected President. French voters held their noses and voted without evident enthusiasm for five more years. French exit predictions, based on actual voting, not exit polls, are invariably lethally on target. As the polls closed they forecast 57.6 per cent for Macron, 42.4 per cent for Marine

Jonathan Miller

Is this the end of Marine Le Pen?

Today’s election in France is likely to be a joyless, miserable affair for the electors who will dutifully turn out. The outcome is preordained. French voters who supported the re-election of Emmanuel Macron are unlikely to exhibit much enthusiasm when he wins tonight. If there are fireworks in the streets this evening, they’ll probably be

Jonathan Miller, Cindy Yu and Laura Freeman

21 min listen

On this week’s episode, Jonathan Miller says that whoever wins France’s election on Sunday, the country is going to the dogs. (01:00) After, Cindy Yu says that China’s online censors are struggling to suppress critics of the Shanghai lockdown. (07:47) And, to finish, Laura Freeman reviews a Walt Disney exhibition at the Wallace Collection. (12:06)

Narcissist vs fantasist: France’s gruesome choice

Something strange is happening in advanced western democracies. In America and France, voters keep finding themselves choosing between candidates for whom they have very little affection. In America, we saw Clinton vs Trump, followed by Biden vs Trump. And in France this week, we have Macron vs Le Pen again. As many French voters now

Macron vs Le Pen debate: le verdict

Who won Wednesday night’s debate between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen depends on who is doing the scoring. In the spin room and on the social networks, Team Macron claimed a victory for the President. With the second round of the presidential election on Sunday, my reaction is exactly the opposite. Le Pen was

French election: Macron has been weakened

The polls have closed in France and projections show President Macron on 28.5 per cent with the rightist Marine Le Pen on 24.6 per cent. The ultra-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon is in third place on 20.3 per cent and is thus eliminated from round two on 24 April. The result looks dangerous for Macron. The nationalist right

Jonathan Miller

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,

Is Macron in for a surprise?

14 min listen

Ahead of the first round of France’s presidential elections on Sunday, Katy Balls asks whether Emmanuel Macron will be able to justify his apparent distance from the campaign trail. Taking part in the discussion with Katy Balls are Spectator contributor Jonathan Miller, Georgina Wright, from Institute Montaigne, and The Spectator‘s data journalist Michael Simmons.

Why Macron’s poll lead is dwindling

With eight days to go before the first round of voting in the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron has just had his worst polling so far. The new numbers show that in the second round of voting, presumed to pit Macron against Marine Le Pen just as in 2017, the president has a lead of

‘McKinseygate’ won’t bring down Macron

We are in the final stretch before the first round of voting in the French presidential election on 10 April and Macron is still cruising to victory — though perhaps not quite as serenely as he had hoped. ‘McKinseygate’ is the latest scandal that probably won’t change much. Six million fonctionnaires being apparently insufficient to govern

The strange case of the oligarch and the French vineyard

Fancy a dabble in the wine business, at a knock-down price? The Prieuré of Saint Jean de Bébian, a trophy asset owned by a sanctioned Russian oligarch, is set amidst 32 majestic hectares of artfully tended vines nestled in a beautiful corner of southern France. A brand-new climate-controlled production hall has all the mod cons.

The Macron Paradox

With just 24 days to go before the first round of French presidential voting, the political landscape has become borderline surreal, a dream state of self-induced hallucinations. The war in Ukraine has utterly overshadowed the vote. Any resemblance to an actual democratic contest might now be regarded as coincidental. If the current polls are right, Macron will enter

Macron appears unassailable

Emmanuel Macron, the President of France for whom few voters have expressed much affection, is suddenly the leader of a nation (and by dint of his presidency of the European Council, the EU) in a de facto state of economic war with Russia. He is wiping the floor with his opponents in the forthcoming presidential

Is President Macron’s re-election as safe as it looks?

In February 1995, Jacques Chirac was at 12 per cent in the polls. Two months later he was president. Two months is precisely the time remaining before the first round of voting in the 2022 presidential election. At the moment, President Macron’s advantage looks unassailable: the Economist’s tracker puts his chances of being re-elected at