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ELECTION

The best clips from the unprecedented behind the scenes look at Macron’s road to victory

The French public were shown unseen behind the scenes footage of Emmanuel Macron's road to victory on Monday night and the documentary quickly became the talk of the web. We've picked out some of the best bits.

The best clips from the unprecedented behind the scenes look at Macron's road to victory
Photo: Screengrab TF1

French TV viewers were given an instant insight into their new president Emmanuel Macron on Monday night, just a day after his stunning victory in the second round of the presidential election.

The documentary titled “Les Coulisses d'un victoire” (Behind the scenes of a victory) that was shown on TF1 was the talk of the web on Monday night with the Twittersphere going into overdrive as the French public reacted to completely unseen footage of Macron's road to the Elysée.

Camera crews had followed Macron around for seven months taking hours and hours of footage that were cut down to just 90 minutes.

While many viewers and media commended the documentary, critics on Twitter complained it was “pro-Macron propaganda” and proof that the media were on his side.

We've picked out the best moments and some clips to watch.

'The battle for Whirlpool'

One of the most intriguing scenes of the documentary concerns the famous “Battle for Whirlpool” which became one of the standout moments of the campaign.

Macron is seen watching mobile phone footage of Marine Le Pen pulling off her now infamous publicity stunt when she turned up at the Whirlpool factory to greet striking workers. At this point Macron was stuck in an office at the Chamber of Commerce where he had met union representatives.

He tells his team he should have visited the workers. “We have fears because we are bourgeois” and that he “can't afford to be seen to be hiding”. 

When the question of his security is raised Macron tells his team “don't listen to the security guys”.

“I will never be safe because the country is like that. If you listen to the security guys, you will end up like Hollande…” he told his staff before saying he had to “go into the heart of the beast every time”, in other words the heart of the battle. 

Macron then went up to the Whirlpool picket line and despite being given a hostile welcome, he stayed for over an hour talking to workers and left with his credit restored.

 

“If anyone has betrayed Hollande it's Valls”

In one clip Macron's team can be seen listening to François Hollande's speech when the outgoing president told the nation he would not be running for a second term.

Macron immediately calls his team on the speaker phone to get their reaction.

“Many Hollande supporters would find it hard to give Valls their votes. If anyone has betrayed Hollande it's Valls,” says Macron.

Macron tells Obama he will 'fight to the end'

The moment Barack Obama calls Macron is also caught on film and had been previously shared by Macron's team during the campaign. Obama eventually endorsed Macron two days before the second round.

The clip below is in English with Emmanuel Macron proving he is a highly capable speaker of the language, unlike previous French presidents it has to be said.

Obama can be heard telling Macron to make the most of the last day of campaigning because “it could make the difference”. 

Macron replies: “I will do my best. I will fight to the end.”

“You are not old enough but that doesn't matter”

One of the key moments of Macron's campaign was when fellow centrist François Bayrou endorsed him and joined forces with him.

It was the first time a heavyweight politician had openly got behind Macron.

Their meeting in a cafe is filmed. Bayrou looks a little uncomfortable with the camera around but he tells Macron: “It's a bizarre thing, the President of the Republic. You are not old enough, but it doesn't matter. If you can succeed where I failed I will help you.”

And the clips that made the web laugh…

“Merde… Putain…”

Macron has been commended for his expert use of the French language during the campaign particularly after his verbal slanging match with Marine Le Pen, but in the documentary he showed he was just like any other Frenchman and woman by blurting out the words “merde” (shit) and “putain!” (which essentially can be translated as “f**k!”)

READ ALSO: An ode to the greatest French swear word ever

The clip below shows Macron reacting to the fact Monaco had beaten Marseille at football and it was one of the most shared clips on the web. 

“Ah shit, that's the f**king second time,” says Macron, before his wife Brigitte interrupts saying “we don't care about that.”

“That's for the kids menu…”

Another clip that made the web laugh was when Macron arrived at a canteen with his team and had to choose from a variety of dishes.

He told staff he liked the “cordon bleu” a classic French staple dish of meat, wrapped around cheese, pan fried in breadcrumbs, that would normally be found on a school dinners menu rather than a restaurant.

Macron looks disappointed when the server tells him “the cordon bleu is with the kids menu.”

He is forced to take salmon instead.

Macron laughs at getting egged 

One moment that touched the web was when Macron was seen watching footage of the moment he was hit smack in the middle of the head by an egg, thrown by a protester when he visited the annual agriculture fair in Paris.

 

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ELECTION

Le Pen narrowly tops European election polls in France in blow for Macron

The far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen finished top in European elections in France on Sunday, dealing a blow to pro-European President Emmanuel Macron.

Le Pen narrowly tops European election polls in France in blow for Macron
Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella. Photo: AFP

Results released on Monday morning by the Ministry of the Interior, which have yet to be formally verified and declared by the National Voting Commission, showed that the far right Rassemblement National (RN) party topped the polls with 23.3 percent of the vote, beating French president Emmanuel Macron's La Republique En Marche.

They were closely followed by Macron's party, which polled 22.4 percent.

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at a polling station in Le Touquet earlier on Sunday. Photo: AFP

The allocation of seats in the European Parliament has been complicated for France by the UK's delayed departure from the EU.

The Parliament had already decided that after Brexit, some of the seats that had been occupied by British MEPs would be reallocated to other countries, with France set to gain an extra five seats

However, last minute delays to Brexit meant that the UK had to take part in the elections, with the result that France will not gain its extra seats until Britain leaves the EU.

On last night's polling results, the RN will get 22 seats in the European parliament immediately, and an extra seat once Britain leaves.

Macron's LREM will get 21 seats now and 23 after the UK leaves.

The green party lead by Yannick Jadot was placed third with 13.4 percent of the vote, gaining 12 seats now and 13 after Brexit. 

The two parties that between them had dominated French politics for decades until the rise of Macron both polled in single figures. Nicolas Sarkozy's old party Les Republicains polled 8.4 percent, while the Socialist party of Francois Hollande was on 6.31 percent, winning them eight and six seats respectively.

Meanwhile the 'yellow vest' candidates scored just 0.54 percent of the vote, below the Animalist party which polled 2.17 percent.

Nathalie Loiseau with LREM party workers. Photo: AFP

Although a total of 34 parties fielded candidates in the European elections in France, the election had largely been framed as a contest between Macron and Le Pen.

Macron's La Republique En Marche party, its list headed by former Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau, was contesting its first European elections.

Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, was hoping to replicate her 2014 European election victory with her Rassemblement National party, its list headed by a political novice, the 23-year-old Jordan Bardella. Bardella called the results a “failure” for the LREM ruling party and sought to portray Macron's defeat as a rejection by voters of his pro-business agenda in France and pro-EU vision.

Macron had made no secret of the significance he attached to the results, telling regional French newspapers last week that the EU elections were the most important for four decades as the union faced an “existential threat”.

Jordan Bardella, head of the RN list. Photo: AFP

He has jumped into the campaign himself in recent weeks, appearing alone on an election poster in a move that analysts saw as exposing him personally if LREM underperformed.

The score of the National Rally is slightly below the level of 2014 when it won 24.9 percent, again finishing top.

Le Pen had placed herself towards the bottom of the RN list, so she will be returning to the European Parliament, where she served as an MEP from 2004 to 2017.

Turnout at the polls in France was the highest in recent years, with 50.12 percent of people voting, significantly up from 35.07 percent in 2014.

Veteran France reporter John Lichfield said: “After six months of 'yellow vest' rebellion, that Macron list has 22 percent is respectable. Much better than President Hollande did in 2014 (14.5 percent).

“But he made the election all about himself and lost. His hopes of emerging as de facto EU leader or enacting more French reforms are damaged.”

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