La République En Marche!

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La République En Marche !
Executive Officer Vacant
President in the National Assembly Gilles Le Gendre
President in the Senate François Patriat
Founder Emmanuel Macron
Founded 6 April 2016; 2 years ago (2016-04-06)
Headquarters 63, Rue Sainte-Anne 75002 Paris, France
Youth wing Les Jeunes avec Macron
Membership (2017) Increase 390,715 claimed adherents[1]
Ideology Liberalism[2][3]
Social liberalism[3][4]
Pro-Europeanism[5]
Political position Centre[2]
European affiliation None
International affiliation None
European Parliament group None
Colours      Black      White
     Yellow (customary)[6]
National Assembly
310 / 577
Senate
21 / 348
European Parliament
1 / 74
Presidency of departmental councils
0 / 101
Presidency of regional councils
0 / 17
Website
en-marche.fr

La République En Marche ![a] (frequently abbreviated REM, LRM or LREM, officially LaREM; possible translation: "The Republic on the move!"), sometimes called by its old name En Marche ! (French: [ɑ̃ maʁʃ]; English translation: "Forward!",[7][8] "Onward!",[9] "Working!" or "On The Move!"),[10] is a centrist,[11] liberal[12] and social-liberal[13] political party in France. It was founded on 6 April 2016 by Emmanuel Macron, a former Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, who was later elected President of France in the 2017 presidential election with 66.1% of the second-round vote.[9] Macron considers La République En Marche! to be a progressive movement, uniting both the left and the right.[14]

The party ran candidates in the 2017 legislative elections[15] including dissidents from the Socialist Party, The Republicans and minor parties. It won an absolute majority in the National Assembly, securing 308 seats. Its ally, the Democratic Movement, secured 42.

La République En Marche! is a pro-European[16][14] movement that accepts globalization and wants to modernize and moralize French politics.[17] The movement generally accepts members from other parties at a higher rate than other political parties in France[18][19] and does not impose any fees on members who want to join.[20] The party is seen as the most pro-European party in France,[21][22][23] but it is not currently part of any European parliamentary group.

History[edit]

Creation[edit]

La Gauche Libre, the think tank for the movement, was declared as an organization on 1 March 2015.[24] Afterwards, lesjeunesavecmacron.fr was registered as a domain on 23 June 2015.[25] Eventually, two Facebook pages[26][27] were created and an extra domain registered.[28] Another organization was eventually created by Macron, declared as L'Association pour le renouvellement de la vie politique[29] and registered as a micro-party in January 2016.[30] This was following en-marche.fr being claimed as a domain.[31] L'Association pour le renouvellement de la vie politique was then registered as EMA EN MARCHE in March.[17]

En Marche! was founded on 6 April 2016 in Amiens by Emmanuel Macron, then aged 38,[18] with the help of political advisor Ismaël Emelien.[32] The initials of the name of the party are the same as the initials of Macron's name.[33][20]

The announcement of En Marche! was the first indication by Macron that he was planning to run for President,[34] with Macron using En Marche! to fundraise for the potential presidential run.[35] The launch of the party was widely covered throughout the media[36] and media coverage continued to peak as tensions rose among Macron and other government ministers as his loyalty was questioned.[37] In the weeks following the creation of En Marche!, Macron soared in the opinion polls to be seen as the main competitor on the left.[38][39]

The creation of En Marche! was welcomed by several political figures including Najat Vallaud-Belkacem,[40] Jean-Pierre Raffarin[41] and Pierre Gattaz,[42] though it was also criticised by Jean-Luc Mélenchon[43] and Christian Estrosi.

In an attempt to create the party's first platform that it would launch into a campaign with, Macron and head of operations Ludovic Chaker[44] recruited 4,000 volunteers[45] to conduct door-to-door surveys to 100,000 people and then they would use the information gained to create a programme closer to the French electorate.[46] Only a quarter of the 100,000 surveys handed out were ever completed.[47]

2017 legislative elections[edit]

La République En Marche! ran candidates in most constituencies. At least half its candidates came from civil society,[48] the other half having previously held political office and half were women. No double investitures were permitted, though Macron waived the original requirement of prospective candidates to leave their previous political party on 5 May 2017.[49] In addition to those parameters, Macron specified in his initial press conference on 19 January that he would require that candidates demonstrate probity (disqualifying any prospective candidates with a criminal record), political plurality (representing the threads of the movement) and efficacy. Those wishing to seek the endorsement of République En Marche! had to sign up online[50] and the movement received nearly 15,000 applications.

When dealing with nominations sought by those in the political world, the party considered the popularity, establishment and media skills of applicants, with the most difficult cases adjudicated by Macron himself. To present themselves under the label of La République En Marche!, outgoing deputies had to leave the Socialist Party (PS) or The Republicans (LR).[51] Macron previously said the legislative candidates would have to leave the PS before they could join République En Marche! in the election.[52] However, then La République En Marche! spokesperson Christophe Castaner later said they could stay in the PS as long as they supported Macron.[52] Moreover, spokesperson Jean-Paul Delevoye said the members of civil society could be mayors or members of regional councils and departmental councils.[52]

After François Bayrou endorsed Macron in February, the Democratic Movement (MoDem), which he leads, reserved 90 constituencies for MoDem candidates (running under the label of La République En Marche!), of which 50 were considered[by whom?] winnable.[53]

On 15 May 2017, the secretary general of the presidency announced the appointment of Édouard Philippe, a member of LR, as Prime Minister.[54]

By winning an absolute majority in the National Assembly in the second round of the elections on 18 June 2017, La République En Marche! became France's party of power in support of the President.

2017 senate election and first party congress[edit]

In the September 2017 senate elections, La République En Marche! lost seats, ending up with 21, seven fewer than before.[55] While hoping to double its representatives in the senate,[56] party officials have noted that due to the elections electoral system of indirect universal suffrage, where deputies, senators and regional councilors elect senators, the party had a disadvantage due to being new.[57]

In the same month, the first party congress was announced to be held in Lyon. The first gathering of party adherents and representatives, party spokesman, Christophe Castaner announced his candidacy on 25 October 2017 with the endorsement of President Macron, allowing him to run unopposed.[58] The congress took place on the 19 November 2017 and Castaner was elected the Executive Officer and leader[59] of the party by a council of 800 people, with a quarter being adherents of the party.[60][61] Castaner's term will last three years.[62] The congress generated media attention for criticism surrounding it, including a walk-out done by attendees of the congress where hundred attendants unanimously resigned from the party due to accusations of a lack of internal democracy and corruption.[63]

The first by-election of 15th National Assembly of France in Val-d'Oise's 1st constituency's, which was a La République En Marche! seat, was up for contention after it was ruled that deputy Isabelle Muller-Quoy's replacement Michel Alexeef was ineligible under electoral code.[64] Muller-Quoy won the first round by 18 percentage points in 2017 and won the first round by only 5 percentage points in the by-election, going onto lose the seat to the LR candidate Antoine Savignat.[65] The race was the first loss the party had endured in the National Assembly.[66] Several subsequent by-elections following showed a 10% overall swing against La République En Marche! since the June 2017 legislative elections.

Ideology[edit]

Although Macron was a member of the PS from 2006 to 2009 and an independent from 2009 to 2016,[67][68] La République En Marche! seeks to transcend traditional political boundaries to be a transpartisan organisation.[18]

Macron has described it as being a progressive party of both the left and the right.[69] Observers and political commentators have described the party as being both socially and economically liberal in ideology.[70][71][2][72]

According to an Ipsos survey conducted in March 2018, the public perception of the party has moved to the right since March 2017[73] and now a majority of French people classify the party as being centre-right.[74][75][76]

Membership[edit]

La République En Marche! considers every person who submits identification information (date of birth, email, full address and telephone number) and adheres to the party's charter to be an adherent.[77] Unlike other political parties, it does not require adherents to make a monetary donation.[78] Macron has indicated that it is possible to adhere to La République En Marche! while remaining a member of another republican party.[18][79]

On 10 April 2016, a few days after the movement's launch, Macron claimed 13,000 adherents.[80] Le Canard enchaîné accused him of inflating the figure and claimed that 13,000 was in reality the number of clicks that Macron had received on his website.[81] Ismaël Emelien, Macron's advisor, clarified that "each adherent signs a charter of values and has a voice in the movement's general assembly" and that "that has nothing to do with those who sign up for the newsletter, who are much greater in number".[82] Sylvain Fort, another of Macron's advisors, affirmed that the movement verifies the e-mail addresses of adherents but conceded that "the system relies on the honesty of each adherent".[78]

In October 2016, Macron affirmed that En Marche! was "neck and neck with the Socialist Party" in terms of membership after only seven months of existence.[83] According to Mediapart, this included many independents and executives, but few functionaries, farmers and unemployed people. Many of the members have never been engaged in politics. The majority have only shown interest by leaving their information on the site.[84]

La République En Marche! takes inspiration from the participatory model of Désirs d'avenir, Ségolène Royal's movement and intends to rely on its member files, according to deputy Pascal Terrasse and former leader of Désirs d'avenir.[85][86][87] According to Libération, the movement relies on a pyramidal enrolment system inspired by Barack Obama's campaigns of 2008 and 2012.[88]

By relying on a participatory political model, each La République En Marche! adherent has the opportunity to freely join or create a local committee. Each of these committees is led by one or more adherents who organize the committee by planning local events, meetings and debates centered around the ideas and values promoted by the movement. La République En Marche! counted more than 2,600 of these committees in December 2016.[89]

Finance[edit]

Christian Dargnat, former general director of BNP Paribas Asset Management, leads the La République En Marche! financial association.[90] Since its creation, the association has raised funds for La République En Marche!. In 2016, Georges Fenech, a deputy of The Republicans, alerted the National Assembly that the association had continued fund raising even during Macron's trip to London. This led Prime Minister Manuel Valls to issue an official denial even though En Marche! had already done so.[91] Macron declared in May 2016 that 2,000 donors had already contributed financially to En Marche!. In December 2016, he spoke of more than 10,000 donors from 1 euro to 7,500 euros.[92] By the end of December 2016, he had collected between 4 and 5 million euros in donations.[93] At the end of March, this figure exceeded 9 million euros from 35,000 donations, averaging 257 euros per donation. 600 donors made up half of the total amount donated, with donations upwards of 5,000 euros.[94]

In the book Dans l'enfer de Bercy: Enquête sur les secrets du ministère des Finances (JC Lattès, 2017) by journalists Frédéric Says and Marion L'Hour, Macron was accused of using 120,000 euros from the state budget from 1 January to 30 August 2016 in order to fund his presidential campaign.[95]

Election results[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election year Candidate First round Second round
Votes % Rank Votes % Rank
2017 Emmanuel Macron 8,656,346 24.01 1st 20,743,128 66.10 1st

Legislative elections[edit]

Election year First round Second round Seats +/− Rank
(seats)
Government
Votes % Votes %
2017 6,391,269 28.21 7,826,245 43.06
308 / 577
Increase 308 1st Presidential majority

Symbols[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ In French, there is a space in front of the exclamation mark, which makes it En marche !. However, it is written without the space in English media.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "La carte En Marche !". En Marche. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
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  3. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "France". Parties and Elections in Europe.
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  8. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (17 February 2017). "Emmanuel Macron: the French outsider who would be president". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b Rubin, Alissa J. (7 May 2017). "Macron, Well Ahead of Le Pen, Is Poised to Be President of France". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
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  11. ^ Sophie Di Francesco-Mayot (2017). "The French Parti Socialiste (2010–16): from office to crisis". In Rob Manwaring; Paul Kennedy. Why the Left Loses: The Decline of the Centre-Left in Comparative Perspective. Policy Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-4473-3269-5.
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  48. ^ "Législatives dans le Gers : rapidité, efficacité ?!".
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  54. ^ "Day 1 for French President Macron: visit to Germany and naming of prime minister". Los Angeles Times. 15 May 2017. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 15 May 2017. [...] the announcement of Philippe's appointment, delivered by the presidency's new secretary general, took just eight seconds.
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External links[edit]

Media related to En marche ! at Wikimedia Commons