Since the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, the idea that the president obtains only a relative majority in the Assembly has been swept aside almost until the fiasco of Sunday evening, which suddenly sobered the macronie.

“My feeling is that we will have too comfortable a majority…” A few days before the second round of the presidential election, this minister has only one question: “I find it hard to see how we will escape a group of Horizons”, the party of Edouard Philippe, “but it is playable that La République en Marche has an absolute majority, even without the MoDem”.

The precedent of the re-election of François Mitterrand in 1988, who had then obtained only a relative majority? “So what? Michel Rocard is the best left-wing government we had under the Fifth Republic!” Edouard Philippe smiled in April when asked about the subject.

“The situation has nothing to do with it anyway”, supplemented several macronie pundits, who still counted on “about fifteen socialists and twenty LRs” ready to join the majority.

From the day after Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, at the end of April, the polls accompanied this virtual certainty of a renewal of the majority, at least in its magnitude of 2017, perhaps even more.

“And then, gradually, after the Abad affair, after the Stade de France affair, in the weeks preceding the first round of the legislative elections, we felt that we were moving away from the absolute majority” fixed at 289 seats in the National Assembly, notes an LREM parliamentarian.

“At the very, very end, we said to ourselves that we were going to have a narrow majority”, he continues.

The evening of the first round, the shower is lukewarm, not yet cold. During a meeting of the macronist group in the Senate in the following days, Alain Richard presents his tables and predicts 280 seats for the majority. His colleague François Patriat is more optimistic: he calculated that 310 candidates from the Together! will be winners.

“Perhaps they did not want to scare too much. Because some of us only found 250 elected officials”, remarks a close friend of Emmanuel Macron, who “understood that our vote transfer models were outdated: the Republican front no longer exists and we knew it”.

The scrambles of the presidential majority on the evening of the first round as to the absence of clear voting instructions in the face of the Nupes / RN duels have completed the erosion of the base of the Macronist electorate in the presidential election, now decided to “express disappointment , or who wanted a rebalancing: that’s what people on the markets told me”, recalls a defeated LREM candidate.

However, at the headquarters of the presidential party, until the eve of the second round, two lines persist in confronting each other.

On the one hand the optimists, convinced that Jean-Luc Mélenchon will be a foil in the voting booth and who recall that Emmanuel Macron’s re-election campaign had raised doubts then swept away by victory.

But the Cassandres are still there, “furious after the kind of ni-ni between Mélenchon and Le Pen” and who “do not feel at all a movement for us next Sunday”, bellowed a minister-candidate last week in saying “do not believe at all that we will obtain an absolute majority”.

So how do you prepare for the risk of a relative majority? “There has been no meeting in the majority to talk about it,” swore a party official at the end of last week, also pointing out that “if it were to happen, there won’t be many poachings” , instead imagining majorities being built “bill by bill”.

Now up against the wall, having elected only 245 deputies – including MoDem and Horizons – the majority seems distraught. “Nobody says anything, the phones don’t ring,” notes a parliamentarian.

A new dividing line is emerging, however, between “those who think that we must grope and stay in a form of governmental status quo, and those who want to change everything from floor to ceiling, with a new Prime Minister”, notes a familiar of the executive, according to whom “it floats a lot”.

“But Macron can also have fun”, he continues, “trying to show the opposition that they do not want to vote for a text on purchasing power or ecology”, while Emmanuel Macron invited Tuesday and politicians on Wednesday.

For him, “now we will have to do politics at 200%”.

06/21/2022 22:31:47 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2022 AFP