Presidential 2022: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the final fight



“This presidential, I feel it well. » Jean-Luc Mélenchon has a long-standing conviction: he believes he can reach the second round of the election. Under the combined effect of the competition of three candidates on the right and the far right on the one hand and a useful vote on the left on the other. “Today, I arrive on the doorstep of the second round”, he said in The Sunday newspaper of March 13, launching a new call for a useful vote: “I say to every left-wing conscience: everyone is personally responsible for the result. »

→ REREAD. Presidential 2022: Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a last fight with the taste of revenge

For the third time candidate, the leader of La France insoumise (LFI) keeps in mind the trauma of the defeat of former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. “In 2002, the extreme dispersion deprived us of the second round for a handful of votes”, he recalled in an interview with The Obs in September 2020, two months before his declaration of candidacy. He also spoke of his taste for “long campaigns that take the time to convince in depth” and build “a majority of membership”.

A very low entry ticket for the second round

Less than a month before the election, the polls confirm his strategy as a long-distance runner and his bet on a very low entry ticket for the second round. A positive dynamic that began in mid-February, when traditionally, in presidential campaigns, opinions crystallize. Presenting himself under the label of “The Popular Union”, intended to be broader than that of LFI, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has now passed the 10% mark of voting intentions.

He is in fourth position, 12%, far from outgoing President Emmanuel Macron (30.5%), but four points behind the RN candidate, Marine Le Pen (16%), and on the heels of the former – polemicist Éric Zemmour (13.5%), in an Ipsos poll published on March 12. He even climbed to third position, at 13%, behind Marine Le Pen (15%), according to an Elabe survey published on March 8, overtaking Éric Zemmour down (11%). In both studies, he distances the candidate from the right Valérie Pécresse, who picks up, at 11% and 10.5%.

The whole issue is to know which of Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Mélenchon will succeed best in appearing as the useful vote in his camp. And slip through the famous “mouse hole”hoped for by the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône.

Leadership over candidates from the left

In fact, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has already won a first round: he has taken on the leader’s tunic on the left. His competitors – environmentalist Yannick Jadot, communist Fabien Roussel and socialist Anne Hidalgo – are far behind in the polls. At 6.5% or 5% for Yannick Jadot, and for the following, below the 5% mark, synonymous with reimbursement of campaign costs.

→ REPORT. In Lille, the door-to-door of LFI activists in a working-class district

Among his assets, Jean-Luc Mélenchon retains the support of more than half of his 2017 voters (19.58% of the vote). He also won votes among the voters of the 2017 socialist candidate, the “rebellious” Benoît Hamon, as well as among those who abstained. Finally, although initially not wanting “nothing to do with these people”, it is supported by the Popular Primary, a citizens’ initiative which had voted for the former minister Christiane Taubira, before she threw in the towel for lack of sufficient sponsorship.

Doubts about the presidential stature

Will this momentum continue? Like former President François Hollande, his adversaries Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo have strongly attacked him for his pro-Russian positions since the start of the war in Ukraine. But with little impact in the latest polls.

While the Insoumis leader enjoys a better image than a year ago, it remains less favorable than in 2017: 52% of French people say they ” worry “, according to an Ifop poll on March 11. And if a larger share (28%, + 7) gives him credibility as a potential President of the Republic – he had at heart for this purpose to quantify his program on Saturday March 12 – doubts still remain about his presidential stature. and its ability to bring people together. According to Ipsos, 44% of its voters could change their minds by April 10.

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