An evening with the air of revenge… The press had described a sluggish campaign, an “absent” Marine Le Pen, as if drowned under the Mélenchon wave? On the evening of the first round of the legislative elections, the party with the flame rejoiced in a new progression, in the wake of the 41.46% achieved in the second round of the presidential election: by bringing together nearly 19% of the votes in the first round of the legislative elections , the RN certainly remains in third place, behind the outgoing majority and the Nupes, but progresses by six points compared to its score of 2017 (13.2%). The record abstention that threatened to mow down RN candidates hit some candidates even harder: “The entire media world is polarized on Nupes and Together, but they only have half the votes”, tackle Gilles Pennelle, leader leader of the party in Brittany and himself eliminated in Ille-et-Vilaine. “In a context of abstention, we still achieve considerable scores. Hence the confidence displayed by Marine Le Pen on Sunday evening when she spoke from her stronghold of Pas-de-Calais, where she came first with 53.96% of the vote. “The member parties of Nupes did not improve their score compared to 2017, they lost votes compared to the presidential election… There is no dynamic Nupes. On the other hand, the RN dynamic exists, ”convinces one of his advisers. The RN has 4.2 million votes, more than 1.1 million more than in 2017. “Do the pollsters predict us between 10 and 30 seats? I’m sure we’ll be beyond it, ”wants to believe Gilles Pennelle.

In detail, the RN is strengthening its positions in its main strongholds. He comes first in all the constituencies of Vaucluse, Pyrénées-Orientales, Pas-de-Calais… And he will be present in the second round in more than 200 constituencies – he had only been in 120 in 2017.

Several figures are in a favorable position. The RN comes first in the eight constituencies it had conquered in 2017. In the 4th of the Somme, the deputy director of the campaign Jean-Philippe Tanguy is positioned in the lead, like Caroline Parmentier, faithful press officer of the candidate , in the 9th district of Pas-de-Calais (30.8%). In the 11th constituency of Gironde, RN candidate Edwige Diaz is ahead, with nearly 40% of the vote, outgoing MP Véronique Hammerer (Together). In the 4th district of the Var, the elimination of Éric Zemmour places his competitor from the RN, Philippe Lottiaux, in a position of strength…

Remains an unknown: how will voters react in the event of a duel? “Everywhere, the voices of the LR have been carried over to us. It’s striking”, judges a party executive, waving the results of a “symbolic” constituency, that of Loiret, where the former Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer was running – curtly eliminated in the first round. “In 2017, this historically right-wing constituency placed an LR and an LREM in the lead. This time they have been swept away and we will have an RN duel against Nupes. »

The two extremes will be opposed in the second round in several dozen duels, the outcome of which is difficult to predict. Marine Le Pen, whose campaign has purposely remained extremely low-key, hopes her candidates can capitalize on her “normalization”. “France is neither a trading floor nor a ZAD,” she said on Sunday evening. “Our first-round campaign was not arrogant, it was designed in such a way as not to unleash the wrath, precisely in anticipation of these second-round duels”, confides his political adviser Philippe Olivier. “La Nupes, with its excesses, risks unleashing a barrage of fire…” The challenge for RN candidates will be to appear as a credible, “reasonable” opposition. “Right-wing voters are already largely convinced of this,” believes Franck Allisio, who will face LR Éric Diard in the 12th constituency of Bouches-du-Rhône. “He is a macronized LR, the very type of person who cannot embody the opposition. »

To truly embody it, the RN is counting on its future group in the Assembly (for this it needs 15 deputies), and on the financial breathing space that its results already allow it: its score on Sunday is the assurance of seeing its income. increase by more than one and a half million euros each year, with each vote bringing the parties 1.64 euros. A welcome consolation for a party stunned, whatever it says, by the successful coup by Jean-Luc Mélenchon – who, without additional votes but thanks to the game of alliance, will have considerably strengthened his influence in Parliament – and still in debt.