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Fragmentation of French politics

Fragmentation of French politics

At the same time, 35 kilometers away, Jean-Luc Melenchon of the radical left party La France Insoumise is organizing a big event in front of his supporters.

The day before, Republican Party activists, from the classical right, chose the standard-bearer for the April election: Valérie Pécresse, President of the Ile-de-France region.

Needless to say, the weekend is auspicious for analysts and observers of the French political scene…especially since the aforementioned politicians represent only a handful of aspiring presidents standing on the starting line.

The left is divided between the Socialist Party, the environmentalist and the rebellious France.

Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo and environmental candidate Yannick Gadot.

Photo: pool / afp via getty Images / THOMAS SAMSON

At the far right, the candidate of the National Rally, Marine Le Pen, now has to contend with the presence of Eric Zemmour, who is trying to woo some of his constituents by focusing on the issues of immigration and identity.

The polemicist, now a candidate, also makes no secret of his desire to seduce classic right-wing voters. The electorate also wooed outgoing President Emmanuel Macron, a former minister in a socialist government that launched his centrist party.

In the first round of voting, on April 10, the two candidates with the best result will advance to the second round.

However, according to Matthew Gallard, director of research at Ipsos’ public affairs division, the large number of suitors, perhaps even at levels unreleased , makes this second round duel unpredictable.

« The qualification bar for the second round is much lower. You only have Emmanuel Macron with a level above 20%. So a lot of candidates can say yes, I have a chance to qualify. »

Quote from Matthew Gallard, Director of Research at Ipsos

Towards a new political scene

It was so many elections that we see many French people hesitating, launched Mathieu Gallard, who watches the redefinition of the French political landscape.

This phenomenon accelerated with the elections that brought Emmanuel Macron to power five years ago.

French President Emmanuel Macron and President of the Ile-de-France region, Valerie Pecres.

Emmanuel Macron and Valerie Pécresse will face each other in the first round of the presidential election.

Photo: pool / afp via getty Images / LUDOVIC MARIN

In 2017, the then-ruling Socialist Left Party’s vote collapsed. On the right, scandals offended the Republican candidate who failed to qualify for the second round.

The context allowed the centrist Emmanuel Macron, who wanted to break the left-right axis, to climb into the second round, during which he faced Marine Le Pen of the National Front. [maintenant Rassemblement national].

The [Emmanuel Macron] A new world had to be created. But this new world, this change did not happen, notes Bruno Gaudi, editor-in-chief of the magazine Paris Match.

The analyst stresses that despite very low hopes at the national level, the Socialist Party maintains its vision at the regional level. And the classical right, which seems more correct despite some internal divisions, is still strongly present in the political scene, be it the Presidency of the regions, the National Assembly or the Senate.

The two teams of the 2017 second round finalists, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, have not managed to establish themselves as strongly as they wanted in recent years.

Marine Le Pen, candidate for the National Rally.

Marine Le Pen qualified in the second round of the 2017 presidential election, and will again be a candidate for the National Rally in 2022.

Photo: afp via getty Images / JULIEN DE ROSA

The National Rally had a disappointing performance in the last regional elections in June 2021. Despite its ambitions, Marine Le Pen’s formation failed to win the presidency of any region in the country.

The outcome was even more dire for the party La République En Marche, founded by Emmanuel Macron, which leads a majority in parliament, but is struggling to win across the country. The center received only 10% in these June regional elections.

The result: instead of a real renewal, the French saw a doubling of the political offer.

« It takes time. We have not seen the political reconfiguration that was behind this dissolution. »

Quote from Bruno Gaudi, Editor-in-Chief of Barry Match

Refrain, the other candidate in the election?

Journalist Bruno Gaudi recalls that 20 years ago, French voters also had to choose through several ambitious presidents. In 2002 seven candidates received more than 5% of the vote in the first round.

During this election, in which the left was divided, the National Front, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, succeeded in qualifying for the second round for the first time in its history.

This second ballot, won by outgoing President Jacques Chirac, was also marked by a high abstention rate of just over 20%.

Abstentions were even more important during the second round of the 2017 presidential election. It is clear that the more candidates there are, the more French people hesitate and the less they vote., presented by Bruno Gaudi.

According to a study conducted by Ipsos-Sopra Steria after the last regional elections, in which the abstention rate was more than 65%, several factors explain this phenomenon.

Thus, 27% of the French surveyed stated that dissatisfaction with politicians to justify their choice. For 23%, interpret the abstention with Not favoring a list or filter.

Matthew Gallard, from Ipsos.

According to Matthew Gallard of Ipsos, a significant number of voters remain uninterested in the campaign, about four months before polling time.

Photo: Radio Canada / Raphael Bouvier Auclair.

It is clear that the context of the presidential election is different from the context of regional elections. Despite everything, pollster Matthew Gallard currently notes weak interest in the campaign, with nearly four months into the first round.

What we measure is a low interest rate and a low participation rate at this point. We are about 55-60% of voters are sure to vote […] Whether we will reach about 80% of those who traditionally go to the first round in a presidential election is by no means certain., Concludes.

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