With six months to go before the elections, the political parties have become real messes where confusion reigns in the face of the Zemmour phenomenon, which upsets the codes, upsets the game and reshuffles the cards.
The 2017 presidential election was an unheard of extravaganza with the Fillon affairs, scheduled as a TV soap opera, the explosion in flight of the Republicans, the collapse of the Socialists and the emergence of an illustrious unknown, Emmanuel Macron, who, with no elective mandate, no party, no political experience other than his Moroccan at the Ministry of Economy, is going to sweep the board. (See our articles in the self-service archives in FDN).
The 2022 presidential election is shaping up to be just as joyous and full of surprises. With six months to go before the election, on April 10 and 24, the campaign has begun in earnest. In all the camps, people are agitated around the Zemmour phenomenon, this patented polemicist who shakes up codes and ideas and imposes his tempo.
Mélenchon/Zemmour: the debate
Jean-Luc Mélenchon was not mistaken. The leader of France Insoumise wanted to impose himself as the leader of a disoriented left by proposing, the first, a televised debate with Eric Zemmour while the latter is not yet an official candidate. The meeting between the two debaters took place on September 23, 2021 on BFM-TV.
The clash was harsh. A real showdown. Some truths were thrown at each other, some lies too. In the end, only one winner: the TV channel that broke all audience records: nearly 4 million viewers!
If several political parties have already designated their herald in the race for the Élysée (about twenty), things are a little more complicated in the Socialist Party and, especially, in the Republicans.
Montebourg ignites Macron
In the Socialist Party, we will have to wait for the vote of the militants, on October 14, to know who, Stéphane Le Foll or Anne Hidalgo, will carry the Socialist colors. The first polls give the mayor of Paris less than… 5% of voting intentions! The candidacy of Stéphane Le Foll is however considered “anecdotal” by the Socialist Party. It promises.
As for Arnaud Montebourg, ex-PS who preceded Macron at Bercy, he militates for “a remonstrance of France”. Because, he says, “we are in a fierce economic war” and we must stop selling France by the slice, as Emmanuel Macron has done, notably with the sale of Alstom. Montebourg specifies: “He is the author and not only the accomplice” of this sell-off of one of our industrial flagships to the American General Electric.
First round. There will be others.
Among the ecologists
The primary among the ecologists has given rise to a real battle of wits. Each one having its own definition of ecology. Finally, the European deputy Yannick Jadot won by a short head (51.03%) against the economist close to Mélenchon Sandrine Rousseau. Despite the internal dissensions of the party, the head of EELV, Julien Bayou called “to the union of the left around Yannick Jadot. It has little chance of being heard, the green candidate peaks at 5 or 6% in the polls!
Big fuss at the Republicans
They have not yet recovered from their phenomenal failure of 2017. The humiliating elimination of Nicolas Sarkozy during the primaries, then the repeated scandals of their candidate, François Fillon, have permanently plunged Les Républicains.
Today the party is in a deadlock. How to choose between Michel Barnier, Eric Ciotti, Philippe Juvin, Denis Payre, duly registered and Valérie Pécresse and Xavier Bertrand who have slammed the door of the party? The mission is delicate for Christian Jacob. After the rejection of a primary that would have undoubtedly allowed Eric Zemmour to run, activists have decided to designate their candidate at an internal congress to be held on… December 4, 2021. And that will be open to Xavier Bertrand and Valérie Pécresse. But not to Zemmour. A big pantalonnade!
According to an internal survey, the Brexit negotiator would come out on top (27.6%) ahead of Bertrand and Pécresse (about 20%). But nothing is played.
The Walkers in Avignon
Five years after Emmanuel Macron’s victory, the Walkers are no longer walking, they are dancing on the bridge of Avignon for their political re-entry during this first weekend of October. Of course, it is to give courage to prepare the re-election of the head of state. And to consolidate the foundations of “the common house”.
A slogan repeated a thousand times: “Five more years for the French”. It is true that Emmanuel Macron remains at the top of all polls (23-24%). Despite a chaotic five years, despite the Benalla, Richard Ferrand, François de Rugy and some others, despite the crisis of the Yellow Vests, despite the explosion of gas and electricity prices, despite the health crisis, the worrying insecurity, the galloping immigration, Macron has no real challenger. Neither among the Republicans nor among the socialists and even less among the ecologists.
A plan B
Yet the President of the Republic has never hinted at his re-election. This is intriguing. Especially since his former Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, appears to be the possible candidate if Macron forfeits. The famous plan B. Didn’t the mayor of Le Havre publish a book entitled “Impressions and clear lines”? A paving stone in the form of a program. Would there be a secret agreement between the President and Edouard Philippe, as we have already written?
In any case, the former Prime Minister invited himself to Avignon this weekend via a short video where he appears with his salt and pepper beard (on one side). To say what : “The objective is to participate in the new political offer that will result from this presidential campaign […] I had the opportunity to say that I wanted to participate in the expansion of the majority, the electoral base of the president.” He adds, sibylline, that he “will take political initiatives” from October 9. Let’s wait.
On the far right of the political spectrum, Marine Le Pen maintains a clear lead over all other candidates and should qualify for the second round, if the polls are to be believed. She should therefore find herself, once again, facing Macron in the final stretch. Before being beaten to the punch, as in 2017.
But is the scenario written in advance? Not so sure. Because, for a few months, a political histrionics, a jester, a talented polemicist has been playing spoilsport. With his nationalist and identity-based discourse, Eric Zemmour is shaking up the political class on the favorite themes of the extreme right: immigration and security. More radical than Marine Le Pen. With his outspokenness, by saying out loud what others think in silence, he seduces the left and the right. Didn’t the candidate Jean-Frédéric Poisson announce that he would withdraw his candidacy if Zemmour ran? And haven’t several executives of Debout la France, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s party, joined Eric Zemmour because he is “the only one who can embody the alternative”? Finally, Jean-Marie Le Pen himself declares that he will support Zemmour if he is better placed than his daughter.
From 5 to 15% of voting intentions
Poll after poll Zemmour nibbles away at votes, going from 5% of voting intentions in early September to 15% in early October 2021, placing him in third place behind Macron and Le Pen. He is ahead of and worries all the others.
Eric Zemmour, the journalist, the writer, the essayist, the polemicist, thus becomes the enemy to be destroyed, the racist who has been condemned several times, the author of numerous derailments on Pétain and the Jews, on the dictator Bachar el-Assad who, he says, “did not gas his people, but his opponents.
Zemmour’s candidacy also reveals the imperialism of traditional parties, their outdated structures, their inability to adapt to the modern world, to meet the expectations of the French. The proof? The abstention rate in the last elections. The French have a disgust for politics. And of politicians who, for many, have turned democracy into a real business. From this point of view, Eric Zemmour wants to be the (future) candidate of the rupture.
In short, Eric Zemmour, who has still not announced his candidacy for the Elysée at the time of writing, reshuffles the cards of this presidential election that we thought was already written, imposes his favorite themes centered around immigration and security, points out the flaws of some and others and finally reveals to the French the mediocrity of their political class.
This is certainly an amusing game of chamboule-tout, but it cannot take the place of an electoral program. Would Eric Zemmour be only a will-o’-the-wisp destined to disappear at the first rays of spring?
There is a plethora of candidates
To date, there are about twenty candidates more or less declared. Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière), François Asselineau (Union populaire et républicaine), Xavier Bertrand (Divers droite), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, (Debout la France), Yannick Jadot (Europe-Ecologie Les Verts), Jean Lassalle (Résistons), Stéphane Le Foll (Parti socialiste), Marine Le Pen (Rassemblement national), Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France insoumise), Arnaud Montebourg (L’Engagement), Jean-Frédéric Poisson (VIA, La Voie du peuple), Philippe Poutou (Nouveau parti anticapitaliste), Fabien Roussel (Parti communiste français), Antoine Waechter (Mouvement écologiste indépendant), Anne Hidalgo (Parti socialiste), Michel Barnier (Les Républicains), Eric Ciotti (Les Républicains), Philippe Juvin (Les Républicains), Denis Payre (Les Républicains), Valérie Pécresse (Soyons Libres).
Two probable candidates, but not yet officially declared: Emmanuel Macron (En Marche) and Eric Zemmour (various right).
There are many candidates, but only one will be elected.