Correspondent in Paris
The turn to the right, the ultra-right and the extreme right of French society and electorates, in search of new leaderships, is confirmed, when the left is permanently installed in an undoubtedly historical crisis.
Six months before the first round of the next presidential elections, Emmanuel Macron continues installed on the podium of credibility, without enthusiasm and some deep reservations.
‘The Republic on the Move’ (LREM), the party created by Macron in 2016 to conquer the Elysee, tries to be a synthesis of all moderate sensibilities, of the traditional center-right and center-left. His team includes personalities who previously worked with Nicolas sarkozy (right) and Francois Hollande (socialist left).
That electoral objective, the center of the center, he is a very precious political target, which also intends to conquer Macron’s first heir, Édouard Philippe, his prime minister, between 2017 and 2020, who has founded a new party of his own, ‘Horizons’, which defends the very center of Macron’s center, with a few more nuances conservatives and liberals. Philippe will support Macron’s candidacy for reelection, but he has installed himself in a «pole position», as a possible «successor» and / or «alternative».
On the traditional right, that of ‘Los Republicanos’ (Nicolas Sarkozy’s party), three personalities are vying for possible leadership, the party line and the candidacy for the presidency.
Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts de France (North) region embodies a popular conservatism line, away from the Parisian elites, speaking frankly in plain language. He is the best-placed traditional conservator in the polls.
Valérie Pécresse, president of the Ile-de-France region (Parisian periphery), embodies a line of conservatism of men and women of upper-middle education, cultivated, well installed in social life. It is a conservatism that does not always reach the most modest electorates.
Michel Barnier, former minister of Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, former member of the European Commission, embodies a line of traditional, Europeanist, experienced, moderate conservatism, which passes very well among the militants of ‘The Republicans’, hoping to conquer an electorate well-off center-right.
The political revelation
Historically, Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine, embody the classic extreme right. His party, ‘Agrupación Nacional’ (AN, former FN), has been the majority party among the workers for more than twenty years. The Le Pen embody a popular and populist extreme right, with direct language that passes well among the less favored social classes.
Unexpectedly, Eric Zemmour, polemicist, essayist, predictable candidate for the next presidential election, he has become the national political revelation, with a far-right program that has many points in common with the Le Pen family program, but with a very different personality. Zemmour is a cultivated man: and his first weapons of combat are the rewriting of national history, the denunciation of decadence and a belligerent hostility towards Islam.
The Le Pen embody the traditional, brutal, populist and popular far right, with a solid working-class base. Zemmour embodies a new extreme right, populist and less popular: his electoral clientele has fewer workers and more fundamentalist Catholics, with a large presence of very conservative new elites with a sophisticated language far removed from traditional lepenism.
Macron, Philippe, Bertrand, Pécresse, Barnier, Le Pen and Zemmour are the visible heads of the new France of the center-right, right, ultra-right and extreme right, the majority, socially and culturally: all aspire to seduce new voters of a national political landscape where the socialist (Anne Hidalgo) and communist (Fabien Rousel) left barely have between 2 and 5% of voting intentions, with an extreme left (Jean-Luc Mélenchon) that has no more than 8% . Environmentalists? They do not leave their historical ghetto, when Emmanuel Macron disputes the land with his project of “ecological nuclear energy”. Who knows.