Gabriel Attal, future President of the Republic? The question is already beginning to emerge for the just appointed Prime Minister. Gabriel Attal’s dazzling political breakthrough has sparked speculation about his presidential ambitions.
Gabriel Attal, at 34, became the youngest Prime Minister in French history, sparking comparisons with Emmanuel Macron. The international press, as revealed by Les Echos, highlights his resemblance to the president. “The ‘baby Macron’ is seen as a key figure in the current president’s political strategy,” stated the New York Times.
“There is something of little Macron in Attal. A brilliant academic career, a top-of-the-class appearance, rhetorical skill, audacity and precocity. He arouses an admiration which, as the current president knows experience, can easily turn into irritation and resentment”, analyzes El Pais, a Spanish newspaper.
A resemblance such that some daily newspapers even see in Gabriel Attal a potential successor to the president at the Élysée. “In the background of this appointment is the fight for the succession of Macron, who, after two mandates, will not be able to run again in 2027,” underlines the Spanish newspaper. Before adding, regarding Gabriel Attal, that “his name is already in the running to succeed Macron”.
“Attal, a loyal ally of the president since joining his campaign in 2016, will be 38 years old at the time of the next presidential election, and will likely become a presidential candidate if his term is successful,” says the New York Times “.
However, according to the words of political scientist Benjamin Morel, interviewed by Capital, this clear path which seemed to take shape for Gabriel Attal turns out to be strewn with insurmountable obstacles.
Attal’s rapid rise raises questions about the possibility of him running in the 2027 presidential election. Benjamin Morel, a political scientist, warns of the “Matignon curse.” Historically, the office of prime minister has often hampered presidential aspirations; He recalls the examples of: “Lionel Jospin, Jacques Chirac, Georges Pompidou and Manuel Valls. Matignon appears to be a position where politicians are faced with difficult media challenges.”
Benjamin Morel explains that the dichotomy between the Prime Minister and the President dates back to 1963 with Charles de Gaulle. Matignon takes charge of difficult media issues, leaving diplomacy to the president. This duality can become an obstacle to presidential ascension, as the expert points out.
Despite Gabriel Attal’s potential, the task will not be easy. The political scientist highlights the current government’s lack of parliamentary majority and predicts a difficult political “battle”. “Internal competition within the presidential majority, with figures such as Edouard Philippe, François Bayrou, Gérald Darmanin, and Bruno Le Maire, could further complicate Gabriel Attal’s task,” he analyzes.
Benjamin Morel, however, qualifies by emphasizing that nothing is lost in advance, 2027 is still far away. “The time spent outside Matignon can make us forget past challenges and create a patina of time which can make Attal more acceptable to the electorate” he adds. The upcoming European elections in 2024 could be a crucial indicator of Attal’s popularity and presidential prospects.