Macron Says a ‘Silent Majority’ in France Oppose the Extremes

(Bloomberg) -- Emmanuel Macron said there’s “a silent majority” opposed to disorder stemming from the extremes, the French president was quoted as saying on Tuesday by Agence France-Presse. That’s despite the fact that his party has been trailing in the polls ahead of the legislative election that kicks off on June 30.

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Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally is expected to get 32.7% of the vote, according to Bloomberg’s poll of polls, with the left-wing New Popular Front at 26.3%. Macron’s Renaissance, along with its allies, are trailing in third.

The phrase was popularized by President Richard Nixon in 1969 when he called on the support of “the great silent majority” in the US as the Vietnam war entered a critical phase.

Macron was speaking while on a visit in the West of France to commemorate Charles de Gaulle’s June 18, 1940, call to arms, AFP said.

Macron added that the country would have been in “chaos” if he hadn’t called for the election after his party got trounced by the National Rally in the June 9 European elections.

“Without a dissolution, there would have been chaos,” he said. “The decision I took was the most difficult, the most serious, but the most responsible.”

Macron added that he was hurt by his party’s defeat in the EU-wide vote and conceded having “many faults.”

The prospect of the National Rally forming the next government sent shock waves through the country’s political establishment and rattled investors who sold off French assets. The two-round parliamentary election in France will conclude on July 7.

(Adds polling numbers in the second paragraph.)

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