Nine months before the European elections, the RN is accelerating

Posted Sep 4, 2023, 7:03 PMUpdated Sep 4, 2023, 7:15 PM

The European elections are only nine months away – June 9, 2024 – but already at the heart of the reflections of the staffs of many parties. Jordan Bardella, the president of the National Rally (RN), has lifted an open secret in the columns of “Figaro” by announcing that he will be head of his party’s list for this election, which he intends to make real “midterms” of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term.

“It is, in fact, the only opportunity for the French to sanction the government and prepare for the post-Emmanuel Macron era,” he said in the daily. At almost 28 years old – he will have them next week – the one who was already at the top of the list for the 2019 European elections thereby confirms that he has become essential to the RN.

The RN largely in the lead

Jordan Bardella intends to reach out to the voters of the Republicans (LR) and those of Eric Zemmour. With a weighty argument: according to an Ifop poll for the JDD, the RN list he will lead is well ahead of voting intentions with 25% of the vote, i.e. a score 2 points higher than that of 2019 (23.3 %). Within the working cles, the RN is close to 40% and almost reaches 50% of voting intentions among workers.

Behind, the landscape is more blurred. Renaissance has not yet chosen its lead candidate. The name of Stéphane Séjourné, the secretary general of the presidential party, is circulating insistently to be number one on the list, which would be the choice of continuity since he has been leading the Renew group in the European Parliament since 2019. He should say more about his intentions in early October, when Renaissance returns to Bordeaux. “This discussion on the incarnation and the list will come”, he slipped last week to “Figaro”.

The name of Laurence Boone, current Secretary of State in charge of Europe, is also advanced, without being unanimous internally. His entourage confirms “the European ambition” of the Secretary of State, while specifying that Stéphane Séjourné is “the most legitimate” given his functions. The Renaissance list is in second position in the Ifop poll.

Not settled at LR and at Reconquest

At LR, the question of the head of the list has not been decided either and should also be in the fall. Between retrying a list with François-Xavier Bellamy at its head, as in 2019, and despite a disappointing score (8.48%) or finding a new figure, Eric Ciotti, the party boss, has not decided.

For LR, the issue of Europeans is vital after the disappointment of Valérie Pécresse in the presidential election. A score of less than 5% would be synonymous with the disappearance of the party from the Strasbourg Parliament and would put it in serious danger for the following deadlines.

Reconquest has not yet been decided either, the choice having to be made between Eric Zemmour and Marion Maréchal.

The Left Divided

For its part, the left is attacking the European elections more divided than ever, even offering itself, with the candidacy of Ségolène Royal, a psychodrama of which it alone has the secret. By declaring itself at the end of August ready to lead a list bringing together La France insoumise (LFI) and the Socialist Party (PS), unable to rally environmentalists and communists, former presidential candidate managed to stir up trouble in both parties.

More than ever tempted to go it alone, like environmentalists and the Communists who have already taken the plunge and named their head of the list, the PS was disturbed by this initiative which polluted its return to Blois at the end of August. If Ségolène Royal has reached an agreement with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, her initiative is not unanimous within LFI. “Ségolène makes a proposal, it is her proposal […] There are several proposals on the table, it will then be necessary for Nupes to choose its head of the list ”, declared Sunday on RTL Manuel Bompard, the coordinator of LFI.

The latter is ardently campaigning for a single list from the left, but he can only see the obstacles piling up one after the other over the weeks. At the PS, among the ecologists and the communists, we rely above all on the autonomous lists to rebalance the balance of power within the Nupes. For the left too, the June 2024 ballot will serve as a “midterm”.

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