Officially, Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour are making their way to the presidency without looking at each other. In their respective teams, however, not one who does not already compare the dynamics of their campaign. Saturday afternoon, February 5, a few hours apart, the former journalist from Figaro will hold a meeting in Lille, when the representative of the National Rally (RN) will conclude her “national convention” at Reims. Enough to prolong the duel among the nationalists in a rather calm weekend among the other candidates for the Élysée.
→ REPORT. On the RN lands of the Grand Est, the countryside seen from a “small country that is fed up”
In the Zemmour camp, and as since the beginning of his life as a politician, we pride ourselves on bringing together the spectators with a snap of the fingers, “like none of [leurs] competitors is not capable of it”. 8,000 people are expected in the North. “We make more people at a simple regional public meeting than Le Pen for his first real big campaign meeting, filled with activists escorted by bus”boasts one of his relatives.
Opposite, 4,000 registrants would converge from all over the country towards Marne and Marine Le Pen. But there is no question of the RN embarking on the comparison of crowds. “It’s not the contest of who has the biggest fan club”breathes the acting president of the party, Jordan Bardella, who would like “get out of this kind of primary of the nationalist camp”.
At the RN, the bet on markets and small meetings
Because Reims would not be just one meeting among others for the MP for Pas-de-Calais. Rather the first stone of “the countryside, the real one”, after long months spent fighting against the emergence of Éric Zemmour and defections, and laying the programmatic foundations as best they could. A good part of the sequence will see members of the RN follow one another to unfold the promises, each in his specialty. “We want to show that Marine is not aloneconcedes Jean-Philippe Tanguy, his deputy campaign director. It is necessary to record the change towards a real party of government, with a turnkey program. » Second act in Reims: the launch of twelve permanent buses across the country, plastered with the face of the candidate with her new slogan “the France that we M”and the operation of “5,000 markets”.
The objective is clear to the RN: to raise awareness as closely as possible to an electorate – working and middle classes – deemed still too far from the ballot. 63% of workers and employees considered themselves “interested” by the election, in January, ten points less than the executives (1). From “forgotten” that the ex-FN intends to touch with blows of tows and meetings “modest” in the sub-prefectures. The winning recipe for the 2019 Europeans. “We realized that these local meetings brought in non-militant people”, to convince therefore, remembers Jordan Bardella, leader at the time of the RN list. A way also to demonetize the campaign of Éric Zemmour. “Large meetings do not win a votedefends Jean-Philippe Tanguy. In France 2022, only convinced people drive for several hours on purpose, normal people watch them on TV. »
Éric Zemmour wants to “pound” Valérie Pécresse
Accused by the adversary of having stalled a major meeting to copy the agenda of Marine Le Pen, Éric Zemmour will insist on the purchasing power in Lille. Far from his intervention in Cannes, on January 22, less sensitive to the presidential election than to the “after”, this “huge collective adventure that begins”. In the North, the former CNews columnist could take advantage of the scene to trigger the plan concocted by his entourage: “pounding the whole month February Valérie Pécresse”even if it means saving Marine Le Pen some time.
The relatives of Éric Zemmour thus judge the electorate of the president of the Île-de-France region “more friable and less consolidated” than that of the leader RN. They want to believe in “sounding bubble” which would benefit the former minister of Nicolas Sarkozy in the wake of the primary LR. To hope to dispute him a part of the voters, the team of the essayist considers essential a legitimation on the economic aspect. Lille will therefore only be a glimpse of Éric Zemmour’s new electoral strategy, after his autumn dream of combining the “lower class” to the “bourgeois patriotic”then his desire to“union of rights”. In vain, for the moment, while he stagnates in the polls in fourth place. His entourage already has his future plan in mind: the month of March would be that of “duels between great candidates”, with Marine Le Pen in the lens. Assumed this time.