This contribution offers a reminder of the state of political forces in France and the course of the health crisis, which initially took place in a context of strong political tensions, particularly as a result of the controversial pension reform decided by Macron. The COVID crisis allowed populist parties to develop ‘naming’ and ‘blaming’ strategies, initially mobilized in different proportions, to attack the President of the Republic Macron. The analysis shows that the decision to introduce a lockdown led the two leaders of the parties described as populist to harden their criticism to similar proportions but also to ‘claim’ rapid responses to the crisis. These speeches are also part of the medical polemics that will have been omnipresent throughout the pandemic. Finally, we observe that these strategies have not been beneficial to the populist parties, since during the municipal elections the two parties did not manage to take advantage on this health and political sequence.
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Baloge, M., Hubé, N. (2021). France: Governmental Unpreparedness as a Discursive Opportunity for Populists. In: Bobba, G., Hubé, N. (eds) Populism and the Politicization of the COVID-19 Crisis in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66011-6_5
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