“I was dried up, knocked out standing.” Discouraged by the record abstention and stunned by the poor results of his party, this parliamentarian LREM chained the superlatives to describe his state during the in-between rounds. The presidential majority failed, during the second round of regional and departmental elections on Sunday, June 27, to win a region, as our results map shows. “These results are a disappointment for the presidential majority”, admitted the party boss, Stanislas Guerini, on BFMTV.
The Macronist candidates came third, fourth or even fifth in the first round. Like a bad remake of the municipal elections of 2020, where the movement of Emmanuel Macron was erased behind the traditional parties and the Greens. “The feedback from the field was good, people are happy with the president, we did not expect such a downturn at all”, sighs an internal source at LREM.
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How to explain this bad score and its corollary, the lack of local implementation of LREM? Officially, “the reason is quite simple, according to LREM. We did not exist five years ago and this is our second local election. “” The president’s project was to rebuild the democratic debate, to overcome the old right-left divide, explains the Minister in charge of Housing and head of the list in Val-de-Marne, Emmanuelle Wargon. We did it at the national level but implementing this new political offer at the local level takes more time “.
For Marie Guévenoux, Member of Parliament for Essonne, in charge of the LREM elections, the youth of the movement has very concrete consequences.
“We are much more disadvantaged than the others. We start with an additional handicap, we can hardly speak of implantation …”Marie Guévenoux, LREM deputy
“The youth of the movement is undoubtedly a very important element, the local anchoring, it takes a lot of time. You have to gain notoriety”, abounds the political scientist Rémi Lefebvre. Indeed, Emmanuel Macron’s movement, which has only existed since 2016, has attracted many unknowns poorly identified by voters. This fact was amplified by the failure of LREM in the municipal elections, according to an elected official. “We pay the municipal, assures a member of the majority. If we had important elected officials, probably we could have had gondola heads, but we still don’t have any. “
But are the poor scores of the presidential party in local elections only due to the recent creation of Emmanuel Macron’s movement? “Okay, we are young, but now we are in the teenage stage! We obviously cannot transform the essay”, admits a majority elected. “The fact that we are young is one thing but it is a whole, the fact that we are in power or that we have trouble identifying a clear political line is another”, underlines a prominent deputy.
For this elected official, the LREM has no identified political position. “What is a local elected official? It’s complicated to define, he assures. There is a need to define a political line, to return to the ideological base that had founded En Marche! “
“On the march! Is more of a burden for the president than anything else.”An elected LREM
The organization of LREM and its operation also explain these poor results, according to experts and some executives. “LREM is not a traditional party, Emmanuel Macron was very suspicious of local elected officials and LREM was formed against the notables, recalls Rémi Lefebvre. The idea was not to structure the movement territorially. There are departmental referents who are appointed at the national level, and the movement does not put a lot of money into its local executives. “
“The party is very centralized, very personalized. It has not given itself the means to be anchored locally.”Rémi Lefebvre, political scientist
On the activist side, even if we are reassured by comparing ourselves to competing parties, the mobilization is not always constant. “The rank of activists is not growing, they are mobilizing at the level of the elections but not between these deadlines. Do we have the flame of 2017? Certainly not”, admits an elected LREM. Officially, the movement has 400,000 members, but you just need to register on the internet to be counted as a member. It is impossible to know how many of them are really active in the field. “We don’t have activists, we have clickers”, had also mocked in the interval on Public Senate the boss of senators LREM, François Patriat.
What consequences for 2022? Will the failures of the presidential party weigh in the re-election of Emmanuel Macron? “Yes, probably, it’s not neutral, assures a parliamentarian. Because elected officials, mayors, are opinion leaders. “” It’s a real problem, bounces a prominent deputy. Today, we do not have highly visible elected officials who, on the territory, can have weight for 2022 “. False, retorts Marie Guévenoux. “If our anchoring is more modest than the other parties, it exists and makes it possible to welcome a presidential dynamic”, wants to believe this framework of LREM.
Above all, the two elections have nothing to do. “Emmanuel Macron thinks that he will win the presidential election from the top without building a local establishment, something that the traditional parties did, and he is not wrong to think so”, Rémi Lefebvre analysis. The latter recalls that the popularity of the president is good and that his supporters make fun of his failures in local elections.
“The journalists will say that the party is above ground but the voter of En Marche! Does not care that his party is established locally.”Rémi Lefebvre, political scientist
If we push the analysis further, some “Walkers” even see a certain consistency in the attitude of LREM voters. “Our voters, we told them so much that we are overtaking (political divisions), that they voted for the leavers, believing that the latter had done the job “, notes an internal party source. “Look, Ile-de-France residents voted Pécresse but that will not prevent them from voting for Macron in 2022”, adds Marie Guévenoux. And then LREM will always be able to rely on its satellite parties for the presidential election. “Macron has the support of MoDem and Agir, which have more local elected representatives. Finally, they subcontracted the local relays to these parties”, concludes Rémi Lefebvre.