French former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday he would vote for Emmanuel Macron in the coming presidential election, the biggest Socialist party name to date to turn his back on its official candidate and back the centrist instead. Mia Womersley reports.
Turning his back on his party's official candidate. French former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday (March 29) he would vote for Emmanuel Macron in the coming presidential election. He's the biggest Socialist party name to date to refuse to endorse Benoit Hamon and put his faith in the independent centrist instead. Valls said he will do all he can to ensure that the far-fight leader Marine Le Pen does not win power. She is currently second in opinion polls. But is predicted to lose against Macron in the second round. Hamon currently set for a humiliating fifth place in the first round knock-out. Valls' endorsement is a mixed blessing for Macron though. The centrist keen to avoid being cast as the candidate of the unpopular outgoing Socialist administration and instead determined to pitch himself as willing to bridge the traditional left-right political divide. It's thought Valls is waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces of the Socialist party after the presidential race. On Wednesday, Hamon shot back. "I'm not surprised," he told France 2 television. "This sort of soap opera is meant to weaken me. I'm running my campaign by talking about the French's daily life, not Valls' life."