The three reasons for the great political transfer window



1. At the center, the pursuit of political recomposition

With the victory of the center five years ago, the alternation in power between the right and the left was disrupted. Attempted by François Bayrou and carried out by Emmanuel Macron, the meeting of the right and the left of government took place around convergences: European integration and reformism of neoliberal inspiration.

Since then, Macronism has gradually sucked in the moderate wing of the former dominant parties on the right (Les Républicains and its ally the UDI) and on the left (the PS), in successive waves of varying heights. Great in 2017, since it was the novelty of this election year, in the context of the formation of a new governmental and parliamentary majority. Petite in 2019, on the occasion of the European election. Average for the moment this year, to the detriment of Anne Hidalgo and especially Valérie Pécresse. But the process could be relaunched in the legislative elections, depending on the state of forces the day after the presidential election.

2. On the left, the return of the PCF

With four candidates (Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Fabien Roussel, Jean-Luc Mélenchon), the left is the most divided electoral bloc. Behind the balance of power resulting from the first round of the presidential election are already looming the questions of the ideological line and alliances in the legislative elections.

The most notable transfers to the left took place to the detriment of the PCF, which this time decided to present its own candidate and not to support Jean-Luc Mélenchon. A fraction of its members nevertheless renewed their preference for the founder of La France insoumise. Fabien Roussel, who will have succeeded in this campaign to restore visibility to his party, has on the other hand received the support of small formations: the Republican and Citizen Movement (MRC, ex-chevènementiste) and the Republican and Socialist Left (ex-PS ). Same thing for Yannick Jadot, with Génération Écologie and Génération-s by Benoît Hamon (PS presidential candidate in 2017).

3. On the far right, the end of the Lepenist monopoly

Éric Zemmour’s candidacy has changed the situation for the far right, by removing Lepenism’s electoral monopoly. This is the novelty of 2022. The presence of the former polemicist revives a recurring debate between two visions. The first claims to be “neither right nor left”, aiming to embody an alternative to one or the other. It is characterized by a priority given to sovereignty and to the Republic, an external (protectionism) and internal (state interventionism) economic anti-liberalism. The second presents itself, on the contrary, as the “true right” and is characterized by a priority given to identity and to France, a mixture of external illiberalism (to protect) but internal liberalism (to liberate).

The first line is that of Marine Le Pen. The second was yesterday defended in the Lepenist party by Marion Maréchal. It is today, outside, by Éric Zemmour. The latter also benefits from support from conservative networks put off by the lukewarmness of Valérie Pécresse and Marine Le Pen on societal issues. At stake, behind the presidential election: the legislative elections and the personality who will take control of the far right for the next five years.

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