How Le Pen’s far right blew it – POLITICO

He described “structural causes” which hindered the far right’s second-round campaign. Louis Aliot, the mayor of Perpignan who failed against Bardella in the 2022 leadership race, slammed the RN’s selection process. 

In 2017, after Le Pen’s underwhelming performance in the presidential election runoff and a botched debate against Macron, the RN’s then-second-in-command Florian Philippot was pushed to the side, eventually leading him to leave the party. 

This time again, heads are starting to roll.

On Monday evening, the recently elected MEP Gilles Pennelle resigned from his role as director general of the National Rally. Pennelle was in charge of the RN’s blueprint for winning power, dubbed the “Matignon plan.” It was supposed to be so fail-proof that he only had to “hit a button” to launch it. 

Central to the “Matignon plan” was the selection of candidates that could be deployed at an instant’s notice. But that’s where it all went wrong. Many of the candidates turned out to be unsuitable — either because they were unprofessional or, in some cases, made racist or xenophobic remarks.

The outcasts

The French legislative elections include 577 races, meaning parties often pick local activists with little experience to represent them, particularly in districts where they have little chance of winning.

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