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The legislative campaign is reshuffling all the political cards in France

Photo: Julien de Rosa Agence France-Presse President of the French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) and MEP Jordan Bardella (R) and leader of the right-wing opposition Les Républicains (LR) party Eric Ciotti (L) attend a meeting with the association French employers’ Movement of Companies of France.

“Mr. President, how could you put us in this situation ? How could you put us in this chaos ?” Even though he was at the western end of the France, off the Pointe du Raz, Emmanuel Macron was caught by a voter worried about the result which will come out of the polls on July 7. It must be said that, in the tormented sky of the island of Sein, the wind blew in gusts and seemed to announce the start of a storm. A bit like in this campaign that the president himself described as a “unpinned grenade” and which promises to be the most dramatic of the last quarter of a century.

Emmanuel Macron took the opportunity to denounce “gruesome things” in the program of the New Popular Front (NFP), such as the possibility of “changing sex in town hall”. An attack intended to detach from the left gathered in this new united front those whom he describes as “reasonable social democrats”, “responsible environmentalists” or “reasonable republicans”. Words that leave even its most fervent supporters wondering, while the campaign initially promises to be a duel between the right-wing front – bringing together the National Rally (RN), Reconquest candidates and around sixty Republican candidates. — and the New Popular Front bringing together La France insoumise, the Socialist Party and the ecologists.

According to the latest Ifop-Fiducial survey carried out for Le Figaro, with 34% of voting intentions which would give it between 235 and 265 seats (the majority is 289), the RN is well in the lead at the start of the campaign. It is followed by the New Popular Front (29%) and the Current Majority (22%). Which leads many observers to say that the “clarification” that Emmanuel Macron was calling for looks more and more like a recomposition of the political landscape. On the airwaves of BFMTV, the dean of political analysts, Alain Duhamel, spoke of nothing less than an “earthquake” describing an atmosphere of regime change similar to that which reigned in 1981 during the election of the first government of left of the Fifth Republic.

The collapse of the central bloc

Of these three blocks, it is clearly the central block which seems the most threatened, if not close to collapse. For a president who said he was blocking the far right, the result is frightening. One sign is unmistakable: Emmanuel Macron's photograph is practically absent from the candidates' electoral posters. The one we always nickname Jupiter may have announced three speeches per week, but here he is remaining discreet. From Minister Christophe Béchu to former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, everyone recognizes “wear and tear”, when it is not “a rejection” pure and simple. Even more acidic, François Hollande's former communications advisor Gaspard Gantzer speaks of “an old magician whose tricks no longer work.”

This announced failure is also that of the strategy of the Republican roadblock against the RN practiced continuously for years. “The strength of the RN is to have demonized its security themes,” wrote writer Paul-François Paoli on the Atlantico website. It is simply no longer possible to deny that there is a link between immigration and delinquency. »

The ball of the RN

For two weeks, the barriers have continued to fall. To the point that the son of Serge Klarsfeld, who pursued Nazi criminals throughout the world all his life, Arno Klarsfeld, declared: “My father and I, between La France insoumise and the National Rally, we chose the RN. » A slogan which could be followed by a majority of Jews who fear more than anything the election of LFI, which had refused to qualify Hamas as terrorist after the massacre of October 7. Even former athlete member of the International Olympic Committee Guy Drut believes that “there is no reason for the Olympic Games to go badly with an RN government.”

If there is one thing that could slow down the rise of the RN in the polls, it is its economic program. A program that he drags like a ball and which is not so far from that of the NFP. Thursday, Jordan Bardella appeared before the French Employers' Council, MEDEF, in the company of his new ally, the president of the Republicans, Éric Ciotti. The two men did everything to make people forget the old RN program which included the lowering of the retirement age, VAT on energy and numerous exemptions from charges. A program that the Montaigne Institute had estimated at 100 billion euros which would be added each year to the 1000 billion in new debts left by Emmanuel Macron.

« The IMF in Paris, a shame for a sovereignist party! » had already quipped in 2017 the 2014 Nobel Prize winner in economics, Jean Tirole, who denounced the staggering cost of this program. For Point columnist Nicolas Baverez, “Bardella is not Meloni”, the President of the Italian Council having long been convinced of the virtues of economic liberalism. If this program were to remain intact, it would inevitably cause “a violent financial shock” in a France already “on the verge of collapse,” writes Baverez.

But the “ normalization” of the RN is going so quickly that rumors are already circulating that in the absence of an absolute majority, Marine Le Pen could instead choose Éric Ciotti as prime minister, in order to reassure the business community.

Prime Minister requested

With the right still divided, it only took a few days for the left to achieve the feat of building the largest united front. This ranges from François Hollande, who is campaigning in Corrèze, to the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), which wants to put an end to “private ownership of the means of production”. In Vaucluse, the New Popular Front even took the risk of presenting Raphaël Arnault, founder of the Anti-Fascist Young Guard and listed as S by the intelligence services.

Even the socialist Raphaël Glucksmann, whose excellent result in the European elections had seemed to resuscitate the PS, had to make a brave face against bad luck by allying himself with his worst enemy, LFI. An alliance deemed unnatural by rare left-wing personalities, such as former prime minister Manuel Valls, the socialist Bernard Cazeneuve and the intellectual Raphaël Enthoven, who accuse LFI of anti-Semitism.

< p>This large gap to the left is not without contradictions, first and foremost the inability for the moment to agree on a candidate for the post of prime minister. The most diverse names are circulating: from the rebellious François Ruffin to the socialist Carole Delga via the communist Fabien Roussel. Without forgetting Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who stepped aside for the good purposes of the union, but who could reappear in the event of victory. For the June 25 debate on TF1, the New Popular Front will be reduced to pitting Jean-Luc Mélenchon's right-hand man, Manuel Bompard, against Gabriel Attal and Jordan Bardella.

Considered suicidal by most analysts, Mélenchon's strategy, which consists of seducing the immigrant suburban electorate by defending Palestine by all means and on all platforms, proved to be a winner. This is where this veteran politician is convinced of finding the 400,000 votes he lacked to reach the second round during the last presidential election. But this comes at a cost. Last October, 57% of French people considered LFI as the most dangerous party for democracy (52% for the RN) and 60% as a party which “stirs up violence”.

< p>Former Prime Minister François Fillon says he sees in this election the “epilogue” of the 2017 presidential election where, before he was the subject of an unprecedented legal procedure under the Fifth Republic, all the polls announced his victory over a program resolutely opposed to immigration and Islamism.

According to an estimate from Figaro, the second round could oppose the right front and the left front in approximately 536 constituencies out of 577. A dream for the political strategist that Jean-Luc Mélenchon has always been, always convinced of winning in the event of a second round against the RN . The answer will be on July 7.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116