POLITICAL STUDY - Orders on the work package of cigarettes to 10 euros, the causes are many of a stall of popular categories in relation to the head of state.
In the Ifop-JDD barometer, the fall in popularity of Emmanuel Macron was much more pronounced among employees (-26 points between May and September) and workers (-24) than in the other categories (-12 among executives and higher intellectual professions). This more pronounced fall occurred on previously less favorable terrain. It is indeed among the popular categories that he had achieved his worst scores in the first round of the presidential election. And it is also in these social circles that its progression between the first and second round was the least strong: + 35 points for employees and + 25 points for blue-collar workers, against + 44 points for CSP +. Two-thirds of the people of France today say they are dissatisfied with the head of state. How to explain this growing gap?
● A reform of the labor code anxiety
The reform of the Labor Code appears as the main spring of this popular discontent. The workers and employees are thus the most hostile to it. In the middle of the summer, and while the government had not yet specified its intentions, only 22% of them declared themselves in favor of the reform of the Labor Code, against 40% of the CSP + (Ifop). According to a survey conducted by the Elabe Institute on 29 August, the popular categories were also the least likely to want a "deep" reform of the Labor Code (26%, against 40% of the CSP +). The verbatim reports collected in the framework of the Ifop / JDD barometer show that the fear of dismissal is strong among employees and workers, who see the Labor Code as an element of protection.
As a result of this concern, the working classes showed the strongest support for the social movements against these orders, especially that of September 12, considered "justified" by 65% of the employees and 83% of the workers, against % of executives and higher intellectual professions. Ifop drew up a map of the mobilization, identifying in the most exhaustive way possible all the places where events were organized and by comparing the number of demonstrators with the number of inhabitants in the municipality. Even if this indicator has limits (imprecise counting, inflated figures, as in Marseille ...), the map shows a proportionally greater mobilization in the western regions (Brittany, Normandy, Pays de la Loire), in New France. -Aquitaine and in the former Midi-Pyrénées region. These regions correspond (with Ile-de-France) to the territories where Emmanuel Macron obtained his best results in the presidential election.
It can be hypothesised that some of the popular categories in these economically more dynamic regions, which had supported Emmanuel Macron around the themes of renewal and an optimistic and positive vision that he embodied, turned away from him. cause of this reform. Conversely, the working classes residing in the regions of the east of the country and in particular in the border territories, which had from the outset placed less expectations in Emmanuel Macron, as reported by journalist Gerald Andrieu in his work, The people of the border. 2,000 km of walking to meet the French who did not wait for Macron(Éditions du Cerf), seem to have become less mobilized and to have persisted in their posturing position.
● The feeling of an unfair policy
Some tax measures announced by the government are also the object of a strong dissatisfaction of employees and workers, nourishing the nagging feeling that they are "always the same" who are put to contribution, while the "assisted" on one side and the better-off of the other are better off. In addition to this long-standing reading grid in popular circles, the criticism of a policy that would first serve the "haves". The theme of "Robin des rich" (which takes the poor to give to the rich) outcrops in many verbatim collected by Ifop investigators.
The monthly decrease of 5 euros of APL helped to anchor this perception. Although it has been criticized by all categories of the population, with 52% of executives saying they are "not satisfied", the opposition has been even stronger in popular circles (60%). To this was added the announcement of the elimination of many contracts helped and the one at the sharp decline of the ISF. The disarray and anger following these announcements point to some of the remarks of the employees and workers questioned by Ifop.
In this context, the elimination of unemployment and sickness contributions, which must more than compensate for a rise of 1.7 points in CSG, and thus result in a gain in purchasing power for employees, should be credited to the executive. But it was approved in August by 27% of employees and workers. No doubt because it was seen as a "tax trick" in which the state would always take back with a discreet hand what it has granted the other.
● The impact of the taxation of tobacco and gasoline
Less commented, the rise in taxation on tobacco and fuels has met with a real echo among employees and workers. Despite a decline in all categories of the population, tobacco consumption remains socially very marked. The proportion of regular smokers among blue-collar workers is double that of executives; and 10 points higher among employees compared to executives. The announcement of the change from the price of the pack of cigarettes to 10 euros has passed as a letter to the post office among professionals and higher professions (favorable to 72%), but is overwhelmingly rejected by the workers (55%).
Similarly, it is arguable that the rise in diesel taxes will have a greater impact on the popular categories living in rural and peri-urban areas. According to IFOP data, the ownership rate of diesel vehicles is indeed much higher. When only half of the households living less than 10 kilometers from the heart of one of the main French urban areas own a diesel vehicle, this rate climbs nearly 20 points as soon as one moves 10 kilometers from the city center ( 68%) to reach up to 77% for people living more than 60 km from a large metropolitan area. It will be recalled that in the fall of 2009, when it came to implementing the carbon tax for environmental reasons, popular circles were opposed to nearly 60% while executives and intellectual professions there were mostly favorable.
● Vaccination, security, immigration
Finally, there are sources of concern of a societal or regal nature. Popular categories are thus the most hostile to compulsory vaccination38% are in favor, compared to 47% among executives. Popular France is also the most hostile to the opening of two reception centers for asylum seekers in the North and Pas-de-Calais (21% favorable among the workers and the employees, against 40% of the CSPs). +). Finally, the lifting of the state of emergency is approved only 21% in the popular categories against 36% of the higher categories.
Whereas, as Gérald Andrieu reminds us, the working classes are at first waiting for protection, permanence and stability, the practice of power and Macronian philosophy, which aim at increasing mobility (professional, geographical and statutory) and praise the movement, are likely to be perceived as factors of insecurity by popular circles. This political philosophy, which runs counter to their immediate perceptions, associated with what could be seen in these circles as a lack of consideration for them, has resulted in a brutal drop-out of the working classes, a movement that we do not had not observed for the two predecessors of Emmanuel Macron at the same period of their quinquennium.
* Jérôme Fourquet is director of the opinion department of Ifop.
** Chloé Morin is director of the Observatoire de l'opinion of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.