Who is Macron really - and will he succeed?

The first biography of President Emmanuel Macron in English has been published, based on interviews with his friends, colleagues and political advisors and reporting from election rallies. Oliver Rowland spoke to its author ADAM PLOWRIGHT, a former deputy editor at a French news agency, about Mr Macron’s style and chances of lasting success

When did you become interested in Emmanuel Macron?

At his rally in Quimper, Brittany in January this year.

There was a lot of discussion about the Macron phenomenon and he had already assembled a crowd of thousands at Porte de Versailles in Paris.

There was an impression that he was mostly a phenomenon that interested the urban professional class but seeing him in rural parts of Brittany pressing the flesh of pig and dairy farmers and then seeing this rally, changed my view.

I arrived on this cold, wet mid-week evening and there was a queue three metres wide and 200m long. I was stunned – I was in a small Breton town and so many people were prepared to turn out to listen to him. I realised then there was a collective enthusiasm for him – he’d managed to create momentum and it was exciting to see. I thought ‘he’s got a chance’.

Did he always seem destined for great things?

From growing up in Amiens, to his lycée in Paris and university days between Paris and Strasbourg, from a young age teachers, lecturers and peers saw him as talented and incredibly driven and thought he would do something exceptional.

One of his teachers recalled how he [the teacher] used to give students subjects that they had to prepare and talk to the class about. He remembers Macron doing one and he was so passionate and interested in his topic that at the end of the lesson the school bell went but he carried on and the class sat there, rapt in attention listening.

A different teacher remembered how he used to go home and tell his family about this pupil in the evening, and his daughter ended up fed up of hearing him wax lyrical about one of her peers. It gives ...

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