“A real godsend. “Preparing the electoral analysis of the legislative elections for Cevipof, the political studies center of Sciences Po, of which he was for a long time the emblematic boss, the political scientist Pascal Perrineau is tearing his hair out a little. The cause of this headache? “The coding, namely the precise assignment of labels to the different candidates, leaves this seasoned expert in electoral sociology undone.
With the breakdown of the partisan system, the exercise is complex. On the left, the alliance initiated by Jean-Luc Mélenchon with the other forces, the New Popular Ecological and Social Union, comes in all tones: Nupes-LFI, Nupes-PS, Nupes-PC, Nupes-EELV… And the presidential majority also forms a heterogeneous arc: Together-Renaissance, Together-Agir, Together-Territory of Progress…
Not to mention the myriad of micro-parties (Animalist, Patriots, Pirates, etc.) attracted by a favorable financing system (each ballot brings in around 1.64 euros provided that the party presents candidates in 50 constituencies, and that each exceeds 1% of voice). And all these candidates in small rural towns, various right, various center… In total, Pascal Perrineau identified 32 different partisan labels. Voters may not be rushing to the polls – record abstention is expected – but the candidates are rushing to it. No less than 6,293 candidates (44% women this year, a record) are seeking the votes of the French. What are the big issues in this election?
Without ambiguity, Emmanuel Macron, in Puycelsi in the Tarn on June 9, asked the French to grant him a “strong and clear” majority in the National Assembly. If the Head of State does not manage to obtain a group of 289 deputies – half of the workforce that makes up the global hemicycle – being favorable to him and therefore only has a relative majority, the implementation of its policy will obviously be made complex.
“It all depends on the number of deputies who are missing, specifies Pascal Perrineau. If it only takes a dozen, you can always find it. We will seek from the elected representatives of the overseas territories, or from the LR or PS as an auxiliary force. This is what happened in 1988 after the re-election of François Mitterrand, my old friend the constitutionalist Guy Carcassonne [former columnist at Point, who died in 2013, editor’s note] was thus in charge of Prime Minister Michel Rocard’s office to go convince elected communists or ultramarines to make the opening. But if you need more, the matter becomes more complicated, because then you have to make a pact with another parliamentary group, and negotiation is obviously more difficult. »
If, on the other hand, the legislative elections offer Emmanuel Macron an absolute majority, the president will have free rein – at least in the Chamber of Deputies, the Senate remains on the right for the moment – and the means to govern. Parliamentary life will not be a long calm river… “Problems of cohabitation will arise within the majority, announces Pascal Perrineau, especially since the Head of State will not be able to stand for re-election at the end of of his quinquennium: there will be temptations of heritage capture by different sensitivities. »
Although he proclaims it loud and clear – rather successful electoral marketing – there is little chance that Jean-Luc Mélenchon will become Prime Minister, even if the electoral alliance, Nupes, which his movement has formed with the PS , the PC and EELV, obtains a majority – unlikely, despite the polls which place this coalition neck and neck with that of the presidential majority. “La Nupes benefits from a real campaign of intoxication, and has succeeded in making believe that there was a dynamic in favor of its candidates, points out Pascal Perrineau. It is announced for the legislative elections around 28%, but if we add the presidential results of the four candidates representing the forces that make it up, namely Mélenchon, Jadot, Roussel, Hidalgo, we arrive at 31%. The Nupes is therefore in decline. »
Nevertheless, the Nupes will benefit from an army of deputies – 175 to 215 according to the projections, always uncertain for the legislative elections – and we can bet, without risk, that the Insoumis will have much more than the 17 seats obtained during the legislative elections of 2017. “They were only 17, and yet they showed very strong activism, notes political scientist Jérôme Sainte-Marie. If they are four times more numerous, by bringing in young activists who are very active on social networks, they will be able to saturate the political and media space. Jean-Luc Mélenchon was threatened by his presidential failures, his age (70), his image. He will end up with parliamentary spoils that he will be able to distribute. And if he manages to provide political careers to young people who owe him everything, he establishes his authority and his future. At what price ? “A substantial group of Nupe parliamentarians with a very significant weight of LFI will create a deleterious atmosphere, warns Pascal Perrineau. The National Assembly will be the echo chamber of social movements, with a risk of degraded democratic debate. »
Beware of mirror effects! At the head of two-thirds of cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, the majority of departments and regions, the Les Républicains party, underlines Pascal Perrineau, remains “the first local opposition force”. To have a parliamentary group, 15 deputies are enough, and LR UDI various right have 136 seats in the current Assembly. They will therefore find themselves in a position to form a pivotal group which will, if necessary, consolidate the majority for the adoption of the reforms. A key role, then. “LR, specifies Jérôme Sainte-Marie, still has a base of local executives and elderly voters, who vote. Don’t bury them too soon! In an election that mobilizes half of the electorate, with older and motivated voters, they can surprise. »
“We were in the lead in 150 constituencies, so we can have 150 deputies,” proclaimed Marine Le Pen in Perpignan – a department where she obtained 56% of the presidential vote. The reality is quite different: the National Rally is well ahead in the polls for these legislative elections by the movement of the presidential majority Together! and Nupes. In the absence of a proportional voting system, which would benefit them, the Lepenists aim to reconnect with their glorious parliamentary past – a sensational entry into the hemicycle with 32 deputies (to which were added three relatives) in 1986. : to be able to form a parliamentary group, a completely achievable objective: now only 15 deputies are needed (30 were needed in 1986). “It is an important political issue, underlines Jérôme Sainte-Marie, specialist in the RN, because having a group opens up financial possibilities, allows political work, the animation of an opposition and gives prospects to members. The size of the group is not decisive, look how LFI was able to make itself heard during this mandate when they were only 17 deputies when the PS-PRG-DVG group had 46 seats, but was invisible. “Currently, the RN deputies are eight in number, the projections of the polls for these 2022 legislative elections give them between twenty and fifty…
Nearly 17% in 1978 – the lowest rate in legislative elections under the Fifth Republic -, 29% in 1981, 21.5% in 1986, and from 1993 (30.8%) to the record rate of 51, 3% in the first round of 2017, abstention has continued to climb… According to the polls, it could break the ceiling this time, even if, it is worth remembering, abstention records announced for the presidential election did not happen. There is traditionally a demobilization of voters between the presidential and legislative elections. Will the manifest lack of interest in this 2022 vintage be marked at the polls?