VIDEO - Sunday's defeats are taken very seriously at the top of the state. Walkers criticize some government choices.
THIS IS A FIRST warning, and necessarily a bad signal for the executive. On the occasion of two partial legislative elections, Sunday, Republicans (LR) won two seats. One in the Territoire de Belfort, which confirms the result of June with a clear progression of the party of Laurent Wauquiez, and the other in the Val-d'Oise, yet won seven months ago by the candidate of The Republic in operation (LREM).
In the ranks of the presidential movement, we obviously seek to minimize double defeat. "It is never pleasant to lose an election", comments, in a truism, the entourage of the head of state. By Sunday evening, the majority party had split a minimalist statement, congratulating the two deputies LR victors but emphasizing "the exceptional level of abstention."
In Belfort, barely a third of voters moved Sunday and less than 20% in Val-d'Oise ... "The result is not satisfactory," said Richard Ferrand, president of the LREM group in the Assembly. "The level of record abstention reflects the difficulties to mobilize on a partial. This reminds us of our necessary commitment to mobilize. The gaps are small and with such a level of participation, difficult to see another winner than indifference, "analyzes the elected Breton.
Passive discontent or disavowal
In this context, the elements of language were all found ... The cadres of the majority repeat it: with such a small number of voters, impossible to learn any lesson at the national level. "If we lose the eight partial, then it will be representative," says a secretary of state. These elections are "neither negligible nor significant," says Matignon. "Partials following the presidential election are traditionally difficult for the ruling power. We do not escape the rule, "said the entourage of Prime Minister Philippe Édouard. Who recognizes, however: "Some reforms may be unpopular, and it produces a bad mood."
Passive discontent or disavowal? A member of the government admits that the policy was able to "create disappointments". "We said so much that the purchasing power would increase ... What a mistake!", He says. In the Val-d'Oise, the candidate LR had insisted, during his campaign, on the increase of the CSG for retireess. "Older people were expecting more in terms of purchasing power. Some have the feeling of being forgotten, "warns Frédéric Barbier, LREM deputy Doubs, citing the increase in the price of gasoline or tobacco as" friction points ".
"We are not going to reorient the government's policy after a partial piece of legislation. I would say, however, that we are not in gloriole: we must be attentive to the electorate of the left, "said his side Pierre Person, Macronist deputy from Paris and connoisseur of the electoral map. If the voters of the National Front seem to have reported to LR, LREM has indeed suffered from his side of a lack of voice reserves, including left.
Another element worries the majority: the weakness of the establishment of the presidential party. "The message that the Élysée is passing after these elections is: increased attention to the territories," says an adviser to the head of state. "There is an internal reflection to solidify the basics. The movement must establish its implantation ", insists Pierre Person. Frédéric Barbier, elected in 2015 under the PS label in a partial legislative, knows something. "In a partial, the one who knows how to mobilize wins. So you need a rooted party. However, LREM does not exist yet in the territories and knows difficulties to have true militants ", points the elected one, underlining the contrast between his party and that of Laurent Wauquiez, which "has room for maneuver that should not be neglected".
Multiplication of contestation fronts
The weakness of the territorial anchoring of the presidential movement was raised during the executive bureau meeting of the movement on Monday night. Usually very prolix, the leader of the Walkers, Christophe Castaner, was rather discreet all day Monday and made no comment after the partial results. He told his troops "do not overinterpret" the elections. "He has a very political reading of the situation," said Laetitia Avia, MP and executive of the movement. Some LREM MPs do not hesitate, for their part, to incriminate the lack of involvement of the candidate of Val-d'Oise ... "She did not make the campaign of the century ..." squeaks an elected LREM. In the interstage, the ephemeral member had received the support, in the field, Christophe Castaner and Premier Édouard Philippe.
While the executive sees the number of contestation fronts increasing and the opinion polls decline, the other six by-elections will be closely watched. In the 8th district of Haute-Garonne, elected representatives are called to the polls on March 11 and 18, after the invalidation of the election of MP PS Joel Aviragnet. "All the constituencies around are owned by LREM. We hope to make a conquest, "says a majority MP. In the Loiret, the presidential party had lost eight votes in the second round against the candidate LR, Jean-Pierre Door, whose election was invalidated. The inhabitants will revote on March 18 and 25. The fate of LREM MPs from Guyana and Mayotte, whose election has also been invalidated, will be a good indicator, even if the local logics make it more difficult to read the results.
A new election must be held in Wallis and Futuna, where the election of the UDI deputy was canceled. In the 5th district of the French from abroad (Spain, Portugal, Monaco ...), the cancellation of the election of Samantha Cazebonne, member of the Macronist party, triggers a partial national scope. In June, the candidate had won in a duel against insubordinate France. The date of the new ballot is not yet known but LREM is already considering investing a new candidate. "To give yourself maximum chances," says a Walker. The presidential party needs it
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