France’s president-elect Emmanuel Macron went from being a virtual political unknown to the leader of the world’s fifth-largest economy in little more than a year. FRANCE 24 takes a look at the key moments in his rapid ascension to the Élysée presidential palace.
Just over a year before France’s presidential election, Emmanuel Macron launches his own En Marche! (Forward!) movement, which he says will be neither on the left or the right of the political spectrum. The move immediately fuels speculation about the former investment banker’s presidential ambitions.
Former prime minister François Fillon wins France’s mainstream conservative presidential nomination. Many moderates within the Les Républicains party consider Fillon too far on the right on the economy and on social issues. He will soon be engulfed in a scandal involving his wife and an alleged fake parliamentary assistant job.
Macron kicks off his presidential campaign in earnest, giving a speech to 15,000 supporters gathered in Paris. His vision of a multicultural, pro-European and market-friendly France appeals to young voters in particular, but opinion polls put him at a distant third in the race less than five months before the election.
Underdog Benoît Hamon wins the Socialist Party’s presidential primary with a left-wing platform that many think will be indefensible in the general election. Hamon’s victory divides the ruling party, with primary rival and former PM Manuel Valls eventually endorsing Macron for the presidency.
After months of mystery, Macron finally unveils his presidential programme, which contains a mix of policy proposals that appeal to both social progressives and business leaders. With rivals struggling in the race, Macron pulls ahead of both Fillon and far-right leader Marine Le Pen in opinion polls.