>> Turning his back on his party's official candidate. French former Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday 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.
But Reuters in Paris says it could be a mixed blessing for Macron.>> Valls is a big figure in the Socialist Party, and he's the embodiment of the right of the party. But he's also seen as the face of the outgoing Socialist administration, which is super unpopular. And he is himself quite an unpopular face of that administration, especially with the core voters.
So for Emmanuel Macron this is quite a tricky endorsement.>> Valls says he will do all he can do ensure that leader Marie La 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 knockout.
Now it's thought Valls is waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces of the Socialist Party after the presidential race.>> Political analysts that we've been talking to say that Valls' ultimate goal might be to take the right decision at the right moment. Meaning to show Macron that he was supporting him before the election.
And be in a position to speak with him and build a new majority that is distinct to Macron's movement
]. But is an alternative group in the parliament where the Socialist Party is really, really in pieces. And probably will be even more in pieces after the election.>> On Wednesday, Hamon shot back.
I'm not surprised, he told France der Television, this sort of soap opera is meant to weaken me. I am running my campaign by talking about the French people's daily life, not Valls' life.