It is a success that was unexpected ten days ago. The left managed to foil the forecasts by keeping all of its regions after the second round of regional elections on Sunday, June 27. The icing on the cake, the PS can be delighted to have the best score in France thanks to Carole Delga (PS), who won the second round in Occitanie with 57.8% of the vote, without any alliance. But as in the first round, the strong abstention, estimated at 65.7% by Ipsos / Sopra Steria for France Télévisions, played in favor of the heads of the outgoing lists of the left, all from the Socialist Party.
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“It is a success for the heads of the outgoing PS lists and it is a frozen situation in France, which is extremely rare, estimated Sunday evening, at the end of the second round, Brice Teinturier, general manager of Ipsos, on the set of France 2.
In regions where the left presented itself united in the second round, as in the Pays de la Loire or Ile-de-France, the scores of the top PS and EELV lists have almost added up, without allowing any real progress. Thus, the left bloc represented 35.02% in the Pays de la Loire in the first round and Matthieu Orphelin (EELV) gathered 34.87% in the second round, thanks to the votes of Guillaume Garot, the PS candidate with whom he made alliance. Where a union of the left took place, “iThere was rather good discipline among left-wing voters, but there was no momentum “, summarizes Rémi Lefebvre, political scientist, professor at the University of Lille 2 and researcher at the Center for Administrative, Political and Social Studies and Research (CERAPS). “The union lists did not allow reversals of the situation”, also points out Bruno Cautrès, CNRS researcher at Cevipof, professor at Sciences Po Paris.
For his part, Najat Vallaud Belkacem (PS), who rallied Fabienne Grébert (EELV) in the second round in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, estimated on the France 2 plateau that in his region, the left “went beyond arithmetic and what the three left merged lists were doing” (31.46% in the first round against 33.4% in the second). “There is an appetite for a united left”, estimated the former Minister of National Education. “The rallying of the left pays off. The left has a future. It just has to be embodied”, also reacted Marie-Guite Dufay, the outgoing socialist president who won the second round in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Despite everything, she refused to draw too national conclusions in these local elections and recalled that it was necessary “leave everything in its place”.
If the PS can boast of having won the five regions it led, it sometimes owes its victory to alliances made with environmentalists, as in the Center-Val de Loire or in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. In the others, alliances were not necessary to win, even if in Brittany, Loïg-Chesnais Girard, whose score in the second round did not allow him to have an absolute majority in seats, could have s’ deliver a larger victory.
In addition to Carole Delga in Occitanie, Alain Rousset, outgoing president in the neighboring region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, has also largely beaten his pursuers. He managed to win the second round with 39.5%, without an alliance with the environmentalists. “It’s a waste not to have managed to discuss with them”, he lamented after his victory, not ruling out a future rapprochement.
In regions where the left was not outgoing, it was especially carried by elected environmentalists, often at the top of the left lists. This is particularly the case in Hauts-de-France where Karima Delli (EELV) finally came third, behind Xavier Bertrand (DVD) and Sébastien Chenu (RN). This region was not among the chances of victory on the left, unlike the Pays de la Loire and Ile-de-France, according to the calculations of Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the PS, on RTL.
In the first round, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, the left bloc (including the Socialist Party, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, La France insoumise, the PCF and various left-wing lists) obtained around 35% of the vote. on a national level. Better than expected results.
The day after the first round, the first secretary of the Socialist Party did not hide his enthusiasm, at the microphone of France Inter: “We are not condemned to experience the duel between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen next year”, he had estimated. However, despite local alliances, the idea of a single candidate on the left is still uncertain at the national level. And these regional elections did not settle anything. “Leadership on the left is still pending“, considers Rémi Lefebvre. “The question of a single candidacy remains open”, assures, for his part, Bruno Cautrès.
Before the regional meetings, two meetings organized with the main leaders of the left-wing formations had not led to any concrete decision and the issue will be addressed again in the fall. In the meantime, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has already applied for the presidential election, does not intend to step aside while other candidates, such as the socialist Anne Hidalgo or the ecologist Yannick Jadot, are preparing without having yet took the plunge. The question of the presidential election will certainly be on the agenda of the 79th PS congress, scheduled for September 18 and 19. At the very moment when EELV must, for its part, hold its internal primary.