On Sunday evening, Emmanuel Macron became the first French president in 20 years to win a second term since Jacques Chirac in 2002.
The victory, Lewis Goodall said, will have been met with audible sighs of relief in the capitals of Europe, in the institutions of Brussels, in Washington and the gnashing of teeth of disappointment in the Kremlin.
It was a win for the progressive centre, and confirmation that the traditional parties of the left and right have become as marginalised as UKIP is in the UK.
That is to the credit of En Marche!, a party founded in April 2016 by Macron, a year before he became the youngest person to become president of France.
The movement’s founding aim was to unite both the left and the right, “modernising and moralising” French politics.
It isn’t a far cry from a new political movement in the UK dubbed the Britain Project, a cross-party alliance backed by Rory Stewart, broadcaster Trevor Phillips, Tony Blair’s former speechwriter Phil Colins and, if rumours are to be believed, Blair himself.
The non-partisan collaboration is seeking to build a new broad coalition in the centre-ground that puts “hope, decency, integrity and the common good at the heart of our politics”, according to its website.
They add that they want to “counteract the current forces of populism, and focus on our sustainable growth as a nation” by “pulling the national conversation, grassroots politics and mainstream thinking back to the politics of the centre ground built on our shared values”.
Read more about the Britain Project here.
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