Because Marine Le Pen staggers. But all the French parties are going through a difficult moment, which is coupled with the electoral abstention rates. Enrico Martial’s point
From the regional and departmental elections, whose second round was last June 27, at Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National they expected something more. The party congress that ended yesterday, July 4, in Perpignan, could have celebrated the conquest of one or two regions, but it did not go that way. The results of December 2015 proved unattainable, and moreover they were obtained in the wake of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the HyperCacher on January 7 and 8, and on November 13 in Paris and Bataclan. In the first round the formidable abstention rate (66.74% – in the second round 65.7%) had hit everyone, but above all the area of ​​protest and radicalism. There was a distant hope of conquering the Southern Region, that of Marseille, seeing that the ecological candidate seemed not to want to give up for the second round, but the party finally convinced him. The Republican front quietly re-elected Renaud Muselier (Les Republicains with La Republique en Marche) with 57.3%.
In short, the setting of the Rassemblement National congress was somewhat marked by disappointment and questions.
The party has lost about 30% of its regional elected representatives, from 358 to 252. At the departmental level, where you are elected as a man-woman couple on two shifts, in 2015 the Rassemblement had 27 cantons, and they are now found again 13 out of 2054. Still on May 21 last, Marine Le Pen stressed that the regional and departmental elections would be her springboard towards the presidential elections.
The questions instead concern the party strategy. Marine Le Pen has imposed a relatively more moderate message, a “dediabolisation” intended to broaden the consensus at the center. The proposals for exit from the euro have disappeared, from the European Court of Human Rights, from Schengen, and less has been heard of Russia. The Rassemblement with the good dress without regaining votes has however created discontent in the most radical audience, which now follows the extreme proclamations of Eric Zemmour on Vincent Bollore’s CNews television. In these five years there have been defections: in the Parisian region (Ile de France) the group went from 22 to 12 councilors, in the Hauts-de-France (Lille) from 54 to 40. Some local federations no longer exist, as in the department of the Deux-Sevres, located between Poitiers and La Rochelle.
It must be said that all French parties and formations are going through a difficult moment, which is coupled with electoral abstention rates: Emmanuel Macron’s Republique en Marche fails to take root, the possible candidate of the Republican right for next year’s presidential elections, Xavier Bertrand, and left the Les Republicains who will also have to support him, the left is stretched between modest results and a competition between ecologists and socialists. All suffer from the substantial withdrawal from politics of the French citizen, perhaps conjunctural from pandemic fatigue, perhaps structural from the crisis of participation.
However, there was no match at the congress, the Le Pen brand is solid, it was just a matter of deciding who would take the temporary leadership of the party during next year’s presidential campaign, before returning it, according to regulation, to Marine Le Pen. They mentioned Louis Aliot, mayor of Perpignan, a congress city with more than 100,000 inhabitants, or the 25-year-old Jordan Bardella, intelligent and brilliant, the bearer of the centrist version of the Rassemblement, which, however, did not go very well in Ile de France. The latter got it right, and is now the first vice president.
And also Nolwenn’s partner Olivier, of whom he is aunt Marine Le Pen, of whom Aliot was a partner from 2009 to 2019. These are family relationships that the French press only marginally points out for their clan nature, or as weaknesses.
Rather, we look at the uncertain political framework and everything to be built for the presidential elections of 2022. For example, Le Figaro wonders whether a republican right led by Xavier Bertrand, re-elected with good votes (52.37%) to preside over the Hauts- de-France, could reach the second round runoff against Emmanuel Macron, in place of Marine Le Pen.

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