PARIS, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Emmanuel Macron, the once upstart candidate now turned favorite for the French presidency, set a new record for the number of viewers for "L'Emission Politique," an evening talk show in which he on Thursday revealed details of his political platform.
Some 3.6 million viewers tuned in on Thursday night to watch the founder of the "En Marche" (EM) political movement, a record for the show which represented 16.5 percent of overall viewers.
Launched a year ago, his political movement has received more than 230,000 endorsements and employs 80 staff. Beyond the presidential elections on April 23 and May 7, the challenge for Francois Hollande's former economy minister will be to assure continuity.
"Since the launch of the movement, there have been more than 30,000 events or ground actions which were created on our activist mobilization platform by our 3,900 local committees in France and abroad, EM said Thursday, adding "This week, a new record was set with close to 3,300 events launched and 2,400 ground actions."
In one year, things have changed for the former economy minister, who resigned from his position last August. The 39-year-old former banker has a good chance of occupying the Elysee palace, according to opinion polls.
With an undeniable charisma, meetings which attract crowds, numerous activist supporters and a series of rallies, the "Macron bubble" evoked by numerous observers has not burst. However, it is difficult to measure the real strength of the Macron phenomenon.
Advertising his movement -- with an acronym the same as his own initials -- Macron evoked a certain curiosity.
"The most paradoxical thing regarding his experience as a civil service graduate and banker is that he would come to incarnate a political alternative," said political scientist Vincent Martigny from Cevipof and Sciences Po Paris.
The creation of his movement and his personal ascension "resembles a start-up," that speaks to young people. "It's a marketing where the form counts as much as the content," he suggested.
Macron still uses the expression "political movement" but now also evokes that of a party. "We are in between," said EN secretary general Richard Ferrand.
The party, which has a non-profit status, has begun to structure itself like a traditional political party with different local sections and committees.
Presidential candidate Francois Bayrou from Democratic Movement pledge allegiance to Macron and the two men will hold a meeting on April 12.
With no elected officials in its midst, EM receives no public subsidies. It relies on private donations apart from a loan of 8 million euros (8.4 million U.S. dollars) taken out by Macron.
But EM has declared its submission, like a traditional party, to electoral finance regulations, opening a special campaign account. It announced it will respect the same financing rules for political activity for the next series of elections.
To succeed in the legislative elections is vital for the future of the movement. The dynamic could be halted if Macron fails to win the presidency, warn several political scientists.
With less than three weeks before the first round of presidential voting, even if EM supporters make a show of confidence, they will be careful not to declare victory prematurely.