The end of an era ? On the right, we wonder. After saving a hundred deputies in the 2017 legislative elections, what will the next election look like? Emmanuel Macron renewed and faced with the alliance of the united left, Les Républicains officially opt for a field campaign, making a point of awakening their local roots. While behind the scenes, the candidates regret the absence of a national figure and the lack of investment of the party, considered accountable for a possible defeat.
“The campaign is sluggish,” said a member of the young guard, himself a candidate, stressing that this is already the fourth call to voters after the municipal and regional elections. Not to mention the presidential… What a bore in this strange election won by boredom. “No one really cares about that,” says Jonas Haddad, former spokesperson for Valérie Pécresse and invested in Normandy, stronghold of re-elected regional president Hervé Morin. The centrist is everywhere on the posters alongside the candidates in the 28 Norman constituencies.
A way of claiming a figure known and appreciated by right-wing voters, for lack of a prominent personality from LR. In 2017, it was the former minister, François Baroin, a time tipped to take on the presidential costume, who led the battle against the Walkers. Five years later, tenors like Laurent Wauquiez or Xavier Bertrand are multiplying in the field, but no one still dares to take on the role of leader. Hence this pressing need to “territorialize” the ballot in order to remedy this “charismatic vacuum”, mocks an activist. Even if it means skipping the LR brand or logo, which have become synonymous with defeat. “Pécresse may be dead and buried, but people still talk to me about it in the markets,” remarks a former supporter of Michel Barnier.
Because this election appears as an inverted mirror of Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term. Yesterday’s newcomers are today’s leavers and Renaissance, ex-LREM, appears to be much better established. The LR party, again beaten at the ballot box, no longer faces a horde of these “Internet deputies” who now benefit from relays in the territories as well as significant funding. “We see it on the ground, they have a hell of a strike force”, assumes a candidate, worried when the ministers move to support theirs. For his part, Jonas Haddad considers it possible to “choose” his audiences according to electoral arithmetic: “I am talking to committed people, those in the militant and associative milieu, ultimately those who are most likely to vote. and train. »
“It’s lace according to local equations”, specifies Franck Louvrier, mayor of La Baule and faithful of Nicolas Sarkozy, who judges, for his part, that the bet of localism is the right one. “People are looking for an interlocutor who is rooted in the territories and who is also not the Trojan horse of an overstaffed majority. In other words, take out the outgoing, except when it comes to LR deputies likely to carry the voice of the territories against the ogre Macron. “Right-wing voters overwhelmingly find themselves in the president’s action. The LR candidates are therefore turning to an identity right, but a minority, to try to exist in this election, ”says Renaissance spokesperson and candidate in Hauts-de-Seine, Maud Bregeon.
Others make their honey of this absence of partisan supervision, like the deputy of Vaucluse Julien Aubert. Elected in 2012, he explains that he does a lot of door-to-door – meeting 200 to 300 people a day – while facing little hostility. “I’m rarely sent out to graze,” he says, attributing this favorable reception to a certain notoriety. “There is no one from our party at the national level, but as I am known at the local level, that helps”, admits this former secretary general of the Republicans who already has views on the headquarters, rue de Vaugirard. As for the less publicized applicants, mostly first-time applicants, they are asked to adapt, even if it means tinkering. “It’s a little nonsense”, regrets a young cardholder at the sight of the professions of faith. “It doesn’t mean anything, empty formulas like ‘a deputy close to you’ or ‘close to the ground’… Normally, that should be self-evident. »
Last refuge of LR, which relies on strong abstention, the votes of the elderly electorate are the object of all desires. “Old people are the key to voting. The question is whether they will again vote useful as in the first round of the presidential election”, apprehends a young candidate who has planned, with a few other comrades, to send a letter to all people over 65 years. The goal ? Convince them that another useful vote is possible: the anti-Macron vote, if possible in favor of LR. “It works pretty well on the electorate who voted for Marine Le Pen without being a frontist. An electoral targeting which is done on their own initiative without the party, apart from financial support of 5,000 euros allocated in the form of a loan to all candidates, being in the maneuver. “The party doesn’t give a damn, it could be worse than 2017,” said one executive.