How did President Macron build a new political party? And will it last?

Emmanuel Macron built a new political movement, En Marche (later renamed La Republique en Marche—LREM), which catapulted him to victory in the French presidential and legislative elections. The new movement was particularly attractive at a time of weakness and decline for the established parties of the left. From the initial success of LREM, it seemed to be possible to rapidly transform a broad-based democratic movement into a governing party.

Enthusiasm for President Macron and for his party has since waned. In this discussion, we will seek to understand how the French president was able to build a new party so quickly, and how the successes and idealism of its creation have been challenged by the demands of governing. We will discuss the implications of the developments in France for the possibility of a new movement of the political centre in the UK, and we will also consider the broader question of how individuals can have an impact on the political landscape.