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Would the French Far Right Moderate Once in Power?

If National Rally were to secure an absolute majority in the French National Assembly, it could of course try to carry out its far-right vision of reckless fiscal expansion and anti-EU unilateralism. But if it is smart, it would offer a more disciplined fiscal-policy agenda to reassure markets and other European leaders.

PARIS – Following a trip to Paris in late 2022, I wrote a controversial research note pushing back against the conventional wisdom of the time. Following his re-election earlier that year, French President Emmanuel Macron, I argued, would continue to rule like Napoleon, hubristically enacting prudent but unpopular reforms by decree, rather than by securing parliamentary majorities. I predicted that by the time of the next European elections, his party would have fallen fully out of favor, allowing Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally to win in a landslide.