Let’s talk politics. Fictional politics, perhaps, but based on the factual elements of the data at the beginning of this election campaign. In which direction is the wind of history blowing? The one of a takeover of power by women.
There are 124 days left (at the time of writing) before the first round of the presidential election, on April 10, 22. What do we know at this early stage of the election campaign? And what reasonable projections can we make?
After the qualification of Valérie Pécresse for the second round of the right-wing primary on December 4, to carry the colors of the neo-Gaullist party, the official candidates in the race for the Élysée are thirteen on the starting line. Only one has not yet declared himself: the outgoing president, Emmanuel Macron. He should do so, the exegetes tell us, in early 2022. This is likely. But he could also hand over. To Edouard Philippe, for example.
The main candidates
Let’s stay on a probable configuration. The main candidates are now known.
Emmanuel Macron, 43 years old, supported by the party En Marche which has become Ensemble Citoyens.
Valérie Pécresse, 54, president of the Île-de-France region, graduate of HEC Paris and ENA, several times minister.
Marine Le Pen, 53 years old, deputy of Pas-de-Calais, president of the Rassemblement national. Presidential candidate in 2012, then in 2017, she qualified for the second round and lost to Emmanuel Macron.
Eric Zemmour, 63, journalist and polemicist imposed the themes of mass immigration and security in the campaign.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 70, deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône is the leader of France Insoumise. He is in his third candidacy for the Élysée.
Yannick Jadot, 54, EE-LV European deputy will try his luck for the second time.
Anne Hidalgo, 62, mayor of Paris, will carry the colors of the Socialist Party.
Fabien Roussel, 52 years old, deputy of the North, will run under the banner of the French Communist Party.
Arnaud Montebourg, 59, former minister of French Hollande, is in his second candidacy for the Élysée.
There are a few others, but it must be noted that their candidacy is more folklore than serious.
Financing and sponsorship
How many of them (just kidding) could forfeit before the first round? All those who will not have obtained the 500 signatures. And they (bis repetita) who are not sure to get at least 5% of the votes cast, which is a condition for the reimbursement of campaign expenses. There will therefore be dropouts along the way.
The case of Marine Le Pen is singular. Although she is sure to obtain the 500 signatures, she faces the problem of financing her campaign since no bank wants to grant her a loan. This poses a real democratic problem whether or not one agrees with her ideas.
As for Eric Zemmour, a newcomer in politics, it seems that he doesn’t have big money worries. On the other hand, he might have to face the problem of sponsorships.
If the polls are right…
On the starting line, each in his own lane, let’s keep Macron, Le Pen, Pécresse, Hidalgo, Zemmour, Mélenchon, Jadot for the moment. The current polls give Macron + or – 24%. He does not go up, he does not go down, his score has been stable for several months.
He is trailed by his former competitor from 2017, Marine Le Pen, given at about 18-19% of the vote. Then, until now, it was Eric Zemmour who came in third place. However, he went from 17 to 14% in a few days, due to a rather poor start to the campaign.
After this top three given by the pollsters, comes the candidate of the Republicans. It is still difficult to measure the popularity of Valérie Pécresse. But it is a safe bet that she will exceed the score (11-12%) promised to her former primary competitor, Xavier Bertrand.
Following, far behind, Mélenchon at + or – 10%, Jadot at 7 or 8%, Hidalgo at 5 or 6% and the others even lower.
Obviously, all this will become clearer in the weeks to come.
Three women in the race
It is interesting to note, however, that three women are in the race. But only two have a chance to cross the finish line on the evening of April 10. Two blondes, Pécresse and Le Pen. Will they benefit from the feminist momentum that has been stirring society for the past few years? Most certainly.
Disproportionately affected by all forms of violence and discrimination, women are determined to exercise all their rights. Because women’s rights are fundamental rights. The wind of history is therefore in their favor for this presidential election.
Let’s summarize. Macron is leading in the polls. However, the political, economic, health and especially social situation is far from being favorable to him. It is true that France has recorded some good economic results, especially in terms of employment. But it is a false embellishment. Ten million French people live below the poverty line. The salaries of civil servants and the pensions of retirees are not increasing when inflation is at 2.8%!
Emmanuel Macron in third place?
Add to this the ever-widening divide in French society, the calamitous management of the health crisis, the migratory crisis, the explosion of insecurity and the vertical organization of power which, for the past five years, has relegated the Parliament and the Government to the rank of mere accessories of the Republic, and one will have a small idea of the many good reasons which could lead French voters not to renew the contract of the outgoing President.
Emmanuel Macron in third place? Can he be overtaken by two women on the evening of April 10, 2022?
Here is an option that it would be adventurous not to consider. For political life in France is full of surprises. If Macron is eliminated, two candidates would remain for the second round, Pécresse against Le Pen. Two women. Two blondes, about the same age. If the final result is not very doubtful, the fight between the two rounds looks fierce, even fierce.
But this is, without doubt, only political fiction….