Between 60 and 62% of the French think that a conservative candidate can defeat Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the next presidential election, the matrix of the entire national political system. This is a profound change in trend, judging by the repeated persistence of studies and opinion polls, which massively coincide in their analyzes. A vast majority of French people are tired of the Macron-Le Pen couple, who already met in the same duel four years ago. The set of left-wing candidates (socialists, communists, environmentalists, extreme left) weigh less than the extreme right; if a credible center or right candidate emerged, he could win the battle for the head of state.
After their triumph in the recent regional elections, The Republicans (LR, traditional right, Nicolas Sarkozy’s party) begin to move pawns to try to find a candidate of internal consensus.
Four influential personalities, Valérie Pécresse (54 years old), Bruno Retailleau (60 years old), Hervé Morin (60 years old) and Laurent Wauquiez (46 years old), aspiring to the conservative leadership, have published in ‘Le Figaro’, conservative morning, a tribune proposing the holding of primary elections to choose the only candidate from the center right. Michel barnier (70 years old), the best-known international candidate for the candidacy, has proposed the organization of a “great poll” that allows a single candidate to be chosen, without running the risk of fratricidal confrontations that he attributes to the primary elections.
Xavier Bertrand (56 years old), the highest-priced candidate in the polls, with a considerable advantage over his potential rivals, has already announced his candidacy, alone, presenting it as a fait accompli. And silently observe the maneuvers and propositions of your friends, colleagues, and potential rivals.
The leadership of Los Republicanos, for its part, takes good note of Michel Barnier’s proposals, the proposition of a primary, and the contribution of Xavier Bertrand in the polls.
For the first time since the end of the presidency of Nicolas sarkozy (2007 – 2012), the traditional right and the center, heirs of General de Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard, Chirac and Sarkozy, begins to believe in the way out of their most serious crises, for decades, orphan of a leader capable of winning the long march of the presidential election.
It is, at the same time, a generational change and a certain political and intellectual renewal.
All the candidates for the Conservative candidacy share the main lines of a predictable synthesis between these historical currents of French conservatism.
The inheritance of General de Gaulle remains the founding matrix. From the inheritance of Pompidou the project of industrial renovation is assumed. From Giscard’s heritage, the great European projects are assumed, nuancing them and putting a stop to the new-minded Europeanism. From Chirac’s inheritance the popular vocation is assumed, avoiding the risk of the demagogic populism of the late president. The will and determination are assumed from Sarkozy, fleeing like the plague of bombast and trouble that were the downfall of the former president who was judicially persecuted.
All candidates for the candidacy assume these inheritances and distances of substance and form. The most tragic lesson remains for them to learn: historically, the open-ended fights between Giscard and Chirac had a catastrophic cost for the French center-right. The leadership of the Republicans tries to avoid by all means that risk of fratricidal confrontations, always latent.
The leadership of the Republicans thus tries to impose a calendar that postpone the final election until September or October of the center-right candidate who should face Macron and Le Pen in ten months. Highly significant detail: the left, socialists, communists and populists are experiencing an undoubtedly historical crisis, with a very modest or very modest price in all opinion polls.
Ten months after the first round of that choice, all are hypotheses. Waiting for concrete action programs. For now, the candidates for the conservative candidacy are considering these common ideas: Cleanup of public accounts and return to work, reform of a highly bureaucratic national model, and suppression of waste that tax the public treasury.