June 20, 2021

the republican front against the far right threatened with collapse

This Thursday, June 3, Emmanuel Macron completes the first stage of his post-health crisis tour of France at the Cahors prefecture. Local elected officials and parliamentarians converse behind closed doors with the Head of State. The socialist mayor of the city, Jean-Marc Vayssouze-Faure, throws into the discussion the subject of the regional elections of June 20 and 27: he wants to know what instructions the Elysee will give to the troops of the Republic on the march (LRM) in the evening of the first round if there is a risk of victory for the National Rally (RN).

“I will ask the Republican forces to stand together”, assures Emmanuel Macron, who refuses to specify whether this could result in an outright withdrawal from the majority lists. “I will take the measure of the situation when the time comes”, eludes the President of the Republic. No question of scuttling in principle despite his posture as a resolute opponent of the RN. Does this mean that the Republican front would be “Dead”, to use the expression of his political advisor, Stéphane Séjourné?

Ten days before the ballot, the question occupies the debates behind the scenes and in the media. Since the emergence of the National Front in the ballot box over thirty years ago, regional elections have often been a test for the strength of the Republican roadblock against the far right. The 2021 meeting could create a breach, as the different parties, right, left and center, seem to have lost their bearings in the face of the formation of Marine Le Pen, which is given at the top of the polls in six regions. metropolitan areas out of thirteen.

A “technical fusion”

We are no longer in 1986, of course, when two UDF region presidents – Jean-Claude Gaudin in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) and Jacques Blanc in Languedoc-Roussillon – took on responsibilities hand in hand with the FN. . The affair was then played out in relative anonymity. Twelve years later, in 1998, five UDF region presidents were elected under the spotlight with the help of frontist voices, causing a monumental outcry on the political scene. In the wake of Jacques Chirac, the right and the center aligned themselves with a firm opposition to the party of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Since then, the dike has held up as best it can.

During the 2015 regional elections, the Socialist Party (PS) had to withdraw its lists in the second round in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie and PACA to prevent the victories of Marine Le Pen and Marion Maréchal-Le Pen. An erasure scenario that almost no one wants today.

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