The result was to be decisive. It was inconclusive. For the Les Républicains party, engaged in this election for its survival, the first round of the legislative election is not the announced defeat, without being a clear victory. With nearly 11% of the votes cast, LR risks going from 100 deputies elected in 2017 to less than 80 seats, according to projections by Ipsos-Sopra Steria for France Télévisions and Radio France. A clear weakening, but the promise to maintain a large group in the National Assembly, as well as the possibility of weighing whether Emmanuel Macron – credited with 255 to 295 seats – should not inherit an absolute majority. “Our deputies will be worth gold”, begins to dream a member of LR.

The results from the constituencies abroad had been a first alert, at the beginning of the week. The left alliance Nupes made a breakthrough there while some LR and UDI candidates did not exceed the threshold of 11% of the votes cast. What arouse fear at party headquarters, where, after the unpleasant surprise of Valérie Pécresse’s score – 4.8% in the presidential election -, The Republicans had become accustomed to expecting the worst. “I’m a bit fed up with the triumphant defeat”, confided a right-wing tenor recently, inhabited by doubt a few days before a decisive ballot. But it was ultimately with some relief that the right welcomed its first results on Sunday evening. The bet of local anchoring gives hope for the possibility for many outgoing candidates to succeed where the candidates of the majority often appear to be the weakest. Like Aurélien Pradié, qualified at the top of the first round with around 45.5% against the representative of Nupes, Elsa Bougeard, who came second at 22.26%.

The right nevertheless expects to lose the presidency of the Finance Committee, which it has held since 2012 and the victory of François Hollande. This comes by republican tradition to the first opposition group, and could fall to a representative of Nupes if the gathered left were to confirm its breakthrough. An expected but symbolic loss, to the point that the representatives of LR already minimized the extent of this decline shortly before the vote: “It’s not up to us to decide, but, if the legislative elections are a political signal, if we obtain a large group and if this signal is translated into votes, it means that the future of the Republicans is bright, “promised Roger Karoutchi, senator LR of Hauts-de-Seine, recalling in passing that certain projections only announced 30 to 40 LR deputies. Sunday evening, questioned on France 2, Rachida Dati affirmed: “France, in its values, is mainly on the right. Before adding, if the voters were to renew their confidence in them: “We will be a responsible and decisive bloc in the Assembly. Especially since the right retains the majority in the High Assembly, where it has the possibility of amending the texts submitted by the government, or even of opposing certain reforms.

Because on the composition of the group in the Assembly also depends the next “refoundation” of the right envisaged by its leaders. “Will it be mainly deputies from the South who will be elected in areas where Le Pen achieves his best scores or will it be elected officials who will have repatriated votes from Macron? It’s not the same political line at the finish,” considered Roger Karoutchi ahead of the first lap. In view of the results, The Republicans can hope to maintain themselves in certain strongholds, such as in Moselle, in the Bas-Rhin or in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the stronghold of Laurent Wauquiez. As for the presidency of a future group, it will be the subject of all attention after Damien Abad left it to join the government benches.

There remains the beaten from this first ballot, often due to an unfavorable national context and lack of local anchoring. Candidate for Chartres under the LR label, Ladislas Vergne regrets seeing the RN so high, at almost 19%: “We did not manage to make our way”, he admits when a dissident LR presented herself against to him. As for Guilhem Carayon, the president of young LR, he only qualified in third place despite some media exposure. Others, like Guillaume Larrivé, deputy for Yonne, who called for a coalition pact with Emmanuel Macron, were also defeated at the ballot box. Just like Julien Aubert, on a more right-wing line, outgoing deputy of Vaucluse, and one of the hopes of the right. Sunday evening, the President of the Republic invited his troops to “humility” in view of the first results. At the headquarters of LR, rue de Vaugirard, where the lights were still on late at night, we were careful to remain lucid in view of the second round, Sunday June 19: “All this invites us to modesty. »