PoliticsDeclared or undecided, pro or anti-primary ... Who will...

Declared or undecided, pro or anti-primary … Who will be the candidates of the right and the center?


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The summer is coming to an end, and the political re-entry promises to be busy. The presidential election of 2022 in sight, the French right is scarce to designate the candidate who will be able to beat Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. And for good reason, between those who are in favor of a right-wing primary, those who will go whatever costs and those who play indecision, the situation is becoming less and less clear.

So while waiting for September 25, and the (dematerialized) congress announced by Christian Jacob, president of LR, during which the principle and the modalities of the upcoming primary will be put to the vote of the militants, 20 Minutes takes stock of the challengers of the right and the center.

Eric Ciotti, the newcomer

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It is the surprise of this upcoming primary. Éric Ciotti, deputy for Alpes-Maritimes, chairman of the Republican nomination committee and LR party referent on security issues announced his desire to represent the right in 2022, on BFM TV, this Thursday morning. “I will be a candidate for the primary of the right to nominate our candidate for the presidential election and get our country out of the slope of decline,” said the parliamentarian at the microphone of the continuous news channel.

LR’s “Monsieur Sécurité”, to whom Secretary of State Sophie Cluzel reproached for being an “accomplice of the National Rally (RN)” while he refused to support Renaud Muselier’s (LR) list for the regional ones in Paca, adopts an uncompromising position vis-à-vis Macronie. Partisan of a “strong right” on sovereign issues, he wishes “to establish the right wing of [sa] political family ”and will begin his campaign in Levens, in the Alpes-Maritimes, where he meets with those who support him this Saturday.

Valérie Pécresse already sees herself there

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The president of the Île-de-France region, who described herself as “two-thirds Merkel, one-third Thatcher” in an interview with Point, formalized his candidacy in the columns of the Figaro, at the end of July. Logically partisan (alongside Laurent Wauquiez, Bruno Retailleau and Hervé Morin, as she indicated in a column published in the Figaro) a primary open to candidates from the right and from the center, since she is at the head of her own party, Libres, she wishes to “restore French pride” and “to break with ten years of bad choices, of half- measures, indecisions, and ultimately [d’]sagging of our country, ”she told the Figaro.

Slightly behind in relation to Xavier Bertrand in the opinion polls – 13% of voting intentions, against 16% for Bertrand in the event that the right would succeed in electing a single candidate, according to a Harris Interactive / Challenges poll published this Wednesday – Valérie Pécresse will also know how to focus her campaign on security and sovereignty issues, in the direct line of her past campaign for regional and departmental elections.

Xavier Bertrand will go whatever the cost

“The primary is not my business,” he declared on Monday on Europe 1. The president of the Hauts-de-France region will not give up the presidency of the Republic, even if it means having to fight against his former allies LR, whom he left in 2017. Declared before the others, he is currently at the top of opinion polls, and therefore appears to be the candidate most able to thwart a new duel between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen .

Supporter of a single mandate, “only five years to restore the country”, he evoked, on TF1 at the beginning of July, “a candidacy of coherence with [sa] presidential election design [qui] is a meeting between a man, a woman and the French ”. He made his political comeback on Wednesday, in Indre-et-Loire, where he attended the ceremony of the 77th anniversary of the Maillé massacre by the Nazis, before going to Chinon, where the mayor, Jean-Luc Dupont, the support. The opportunity to pay tribute to the “greatness” of General de Gaulle and to follow in the footsteps of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who went there for the last time in June 2008.

Wauquiez and Retailleau, are they coming soon?

Reinvigorated by his re-election at the head of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, the former president of the Republicans, Laurent Wauquiez, has not yet formalized his candidacy for the presidential election. According to The Parisian, his decision would have been taken in August “after a month of July devoted to numerous consultations” but “only the family circle knows it”. Partisan of an uninhibited right, the Auvergne maintains the suspense but could well thwart the plans already drawn up by Xavier Bertrand and Valérie Pécresse.

Also a signatory of the tribune of Figaro, the president of the LR group in the Senate, Bruno Retailleau, apparently also eyeing the supreme magistracy. Faithful to François Fillon, the polls are unfavorable to him for the moment, an Ifop-Fiducial opinion poll only crediting him with 6% of voting intentions last May.

Morin, Lisnard, Juvin and Barnier… The outsiders

Fourth and last signatory of the rostrum of Figaro, Hervé Morin also intends to take advantage of his re-election in Normandy to influence the debate on the right. In the event that the president of the Centrists does not appear at the primary of the right and the center, he intends to support Valérie Pécresse. “There is a modern speech, a responsible speech, a woman … All that can make us a good President of the Republic”, he declared on France Info.

The mayor Les Républicains de Cannes, unknown to the French a few months ago, distinguished himself by his activism during the health crisis. Also candidate for the succession of François Baroin at the head of the Association of Mayors of France, the one who is at the head of his own movement, baptized New energy, declared to BFM TV at the beginning of July that he ” [pourrait] to present oneself ”in the hypothesis of a primary.

Another figure in the health crisis, Philippe Juvin, head of the emergency department of the Georges Pompidou hospital and mayor (LR) of La Garenne-Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine) is in favor of a primary of the right and the center. On France Inter, in July, he called Xavier Bertrand to join the debate, in order to see who is “the best, the strongest”, but has still not formalized his candidacy.

Michel Barnier does not deem a primary of the right “essential”, and believes the right capable of uniting in a consensual way around the same candidate. “We are not going to determine our candidate by polls,” remarked the former chief Brexit negotiator for the European Union on France Info, before admitting that he would however be a candidate in the event of a primary of the right and the center.

Jean-Christophe Lagarde, president of the UDI, will not be embarrassed by a candidacy for the primary. “I do not see the point of a primary when one of the candidates (Xavier Bertrand), a fortiori the one whose polls are the most flattering, refuses to participate”, he confided to Capital beginning of July. Same story for Jean-Frédéric Poisson, president of VIA-La Voie du Peuple, who will go directly through the presidential box. “I want to directly solicit the suffrage of the French”, he indicated to Capital.


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