Presidential election : the lessons of the first round

The election of April 10, 2022 is full of lessons on French politics. Latest figures and first comments.

The results of the first round of the presidential election on Sunday resemble a battlefield, with its winners and losers, its dead and its wounded. But, already, it is necessary to prepare the weapons for the second round, on April 24.
If Emmanuel Macron (27.60%) emerges victorious from the first round, Marine Le Pen (23.41%) comes in second place to fight the revenge she has been dreaming of since 2017. She is followed by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (21.95%) who has collected on his name almost all the votes of the left. The nine other candidates are far behind, none of them crosses the 10% mark and only Eric Zemmour exceeds the 5% mark allowing him a reimbursement of campaign expenses.

The end of an era

The figures are cruel. Valérie Pécresse has reached a ceiling of 4.79%. She will therefore leave a heavy slate for the Republicans: 7 million euros! The party will not recover soon. The so-called Republican right is crushed by a mediocre candidate who led a mediocre campaign. It is the end of an era, that of the heirs of General de Gaulle.
Yannick Jadot (4.58) demonstrates that “ecology”, a concept that is still a little vague, does not make an impression on public opinion, which is more concerned with end-of-month problems than with the end of the world. Ecology is good when everything is going well. It is made for the rich, not for the poor.
Jean Lassalle manages, in a minor way, to collect 3.16% of the votes. It is well known that for many French people, the Béarnais represents a protest vote, when one does not want to vote for the right or for the left, but one wants to vote anyway. In any case, he did better than Fabien Roussel (2,31%), the communist, than Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (2,07%) and especially than Anne Hidalgo (1,74%) who signs the death of the socialist party. It is a personal humiliation for the mayor of Paris, a monumental beating for the Socialist Party which will probably not be able to recover.
As for the last two candidates, Philippe Poutou (0.77%) and Nathalie Arthaud (0.57%), they were not expecting anything. But their low score shows that their members have voted useful in the first round by voting Mélenchon.

France cut into three

On the evening of April 10, French political life was recomposed around three major poles.

  1. Emmanuel Macron’s Macronist right, made up of former socialists and former Gaullists, young intellectuals from the grandes écoles, and the frontrunners who are going to conquer the world, following the American model. But leaving on the side of the road the last ones, all those who do not have the means to follow this evolution of the society. Emmanuel Macron has not understood the Yellow Vests movement.
  2. The pure and hard right, that of the National Rally of Marine Le Pen, more polished than that of Jean-Marie Le Pen, more turned towards the people, defending the idea of a France independent of lobbies, especially American. Anti-system, anti-European, anti-globalization, anti-uncontrolled immigration, the National Rally fights against Islamist ideology, thus joining the ideas of Eric Zemmour.
  3. The radical left, embodied by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, was born of the total collapse of the Socialist Party (in 2017 and 2022) and the Communist Party reduced to 2.30%. This radical left is fighting against both Macronism and the extreme right of Le Pen, with which it is almost equal.

On April 24, the Macron/Le Pen duel remains uncertain. But these three components of French political life will face each other in the legislative elections that will follow the presidential election. And it is a safe bet that the National Assembly will not resemble the army of godillots of the previous legislature.
French political life is entering a new era.

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