From Sunday evening, in the second round of the legislative elections, the first criticisms came from the side of the New Ecological, Social and Popular Union (Nupes). The absence of instructions from Together!, the alliance around Emmanuel Macron, favored the appearance of 89 National Rally deputies in the National Assembly.
In a viral sequence, Marine Tondelier, Nupes candidate in the 11th constituency of Pas-de-Calais against Marine Le Pen, demanded that La République en Marche (now Renaissance) present its “apologies” for “all the constituencies where their candidates preferred to have fascists elected rather than ecologists or #NUPES”. In a tweet, shared more than 10,300 times, a user indicates “89 RN deputies. In 56 out of 61 cases, Emmanuel Macron’s candidates refused to support the NUPES against the RN. We won’t forget. »
For the government spokesperson, Olivia Grégoire, confronted on the subject of RN-Nupes duels by the rebellious Clémentine Autain, the position of Together! was “very clear”. “We said not a voice at the National Rally,” she said on June 19 on the France 2 set.
This “clarity” was apparently not found in the report of votes. In the event of Nupes-RN duels, the voters of the presidential coalition Together! 72% abstained, while 16% voted for the Nupes and 12% for the RN, explained to AFP Brice Teinturier, deputy general manager of Ipsos France. A Harris Interactive poll gives slightly different results: 48% of voters Together! abstained, 34% voted Nupes and 18% RN. These vote transfers, which are difficult to estimate, can suddenly bring 30 additional elected officials, also indicated Brice Teinturier.
Heterogeneous voting instructions
Did the lack of instructions play on the RN score as the Nupes claims? On the evening of the first round, Ensemble’s position did not seem settled: Olivia Grégoire had explained, while all the results were not known, that the Nupes-RN duels would only take place in “very few constituencies, maybe a dozen” and that these were “local” debates. “Tonight is not a national issue,” she concluded. “We have to wait to see the scenarios that will arise or not, also said Gabriel Attal, the Minister of the Budget. We have always been very clear about our opposition to extremes and in particular to the National Rally. »
In the end, there were around sixty duels between Nupes and RN. And the lines adopted by the candidates Together! were heterogeneous to say the least, between those who called for a blockade, those who clearly called for a vote for the candidate or the candidate Nupes, those who said not a voice for the RN, those who maintained that they did not would not vote for the extremes and those who did not express themselves.
“The Failure of the Republican Front”
A puzzle that have tried to elucidate The world and Release. But, even after disentangling, the results diverge between the two dailies. A trend emerges, summarized on Twitter by the journalist of the Decoders Pierre Breteau: “80% of the Nupes candidates called to block the RN in the event of a Together!-RN duel, against 52% of the Together candidates! in the event of a Nupes-RN duel”. “Obviously, there was a fairly great ambiguity on the voting instructions, which partly explains the failure of the Republican front on Sunday”, estimates, with 20 minutesGilles Ivaldi, political scientist at Cevipof and specialist in radical rights.
The statements of the candidates make it possible to “recall certain red lines, he adds. It doesn’t necessarily have a massive effect, but it is important. “The absence of clear instructions” probably played on the vote in favor of the RN, but it is difficult to measure it, he tempers, because there is no precise data on the psychology of the voters and voters. »
On the other hand, what is measurable is the evolution between the legislative elections of 2017 and those of 2022: “The RN was then present in 120 constituencies, recalls Gilles Ivaldi, and in the end it obtained 8 seats. This year, he was present in just over 200 constituencies and won 89 seats. It is clear that something happened. »
“A tactical problem” for Together!
The viral tweet evoking 56 out of 61 duels is a reasoning following an early version of the article by Release (with only 5 clear pro-Nupes instructions). In the end, after updates, the daily title that “only 7 candidates Together call to vote for the Nupes against the RN in the second round”.
But Le Monde counts 16 candidates calling to vote for Nupes. It’s all about interpretation. For example, Nadia Essayan, outgoing MP for the 2nd constituency of Cher, is classified in the category “those who say thank you and then leave” for Release. On Facebook, she did not give voting instructions, just indicated that “the choice between Mélenchon and the RN”, “it is not France that she loves”. But for The worldshe is classified as calling to vote Nupes, as she clarified in a comment that she will vote “without enthusiasm for Nicolas Sansu because he himself voted for Emmanuel Macron in 2017”.
The question of voting instructions in the case of Nupes-RN duels, especially for candidates from LFI, was “more of a tactical problem”, argues Gilles Ivaldi: for macronie, it was a question of not “oversizing the vote of the united left which represented the main adversary”.
“Emmanuel Macron’s trap has closed in on itself”
Was classifying these instructions even feasible? Marine Tondelier, who was Yannick Jadot’s spokesperson during the presidential campaign and Nupes candidate against Marine Le Pen, did not get the support of her rival LREM. The latter had explained in a press release that she would vote blank. Walkers tried to catch up by calling, in his case, to block the RN, like Stanislas Guerini, general delegate of the presidential party, or Elisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister.
“Emmanuel Macron’s trap has closed in on itself”, analyzes Gilles Ivaldi. By preempting the center of French political life, it weakened the major presidential parties and opened up space for more radical formations. “Faced with the extremes, to be totally consistent, there was no other choice than to make a distinction between the Nupes and the extreme right, he continues, it was complicated, that is why the majority found itself in ambiguity and in a form of impasse. »
In the cantonal elections of 2011, a similar situation had taken place: the right of Nicolas Sarkozy had adopted the principle of neither-nor: neither Le Pen, nor the left. “Here too, these are strategic considerations: at that time, there is a first crack in the Republican front, supports the political scientist. The extreme right, all of a sudden, is put on the same level as the left”, breaking with the line of Jacques Chirac. The crack widened after the second round of legislative elections.