Due to its recent electoral success, Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National can legitimately claim the presidency of the Finance Committee. After the presidency and vice-presidency of the Assembly, this is the most important office in the French legislature.
The biggest surprise of the election is the performance of the RN, which won 89 seats—11 times more than in the previous elections. The pollsters were totally focused on the NUPES and clearly failed to anticipate this tidal wave.
The convinced of Macronism have already shown themselves in the first round. Those who will vote for him out of duty have shrunk to a trickle. Anti-Macronism is on its way to being more powerful than a vote for Le Pen.
Repositioning French political forces began as soon as the results were announced. Even if the headliner is the same as in 2017, the balance of power and the political situation have radically changed.
These attacks were exploited by both parties as evidence of the current administration’s poor handling of security and immigration. Despite the spin, they actually testify to the advanced deterioration of the political climate in France: an accumulation of tensions in society, ready to flare up at any moment.
Marine Le Pen speaks to working-class France, while Zemmour’s electorate comes from the bourgeoisie—two pieces of the same puzzle which for the moment do not manage to fit together, neither in the one nor in the other.
The founder and patriarch of the family, Jean-Marie Le Pen, chose to speak out in the political-family feud that finds his daughter and granddaughter on opposite sides. He gave his full support to Marine Le Pen for the presidential campaign.
By participating in the Madrid summit, Marine Le Pen looks to strengthen her international stature and to reinforce her relationships with her European allies; to use the platform as a way to gain legitimacy in the fight against Éric Zemmour.
Zemmour regularly claims in his speeches his affiliation with the former RPR, and his desire to achieve a “union of the Right.” He hopes to gather within his candidacy all the families of the French Right attached to national identity, sovereignty, a certain economic liberalism, and a (moderate) social conservatism.
Emmanuel Macron displayed his ambition to promote European civilization and its culture, through a “common project respectful of the singularities and identities of each [nation].” In the exchange with French deputies, he recalled that he has never been opposed to promoting the Christian roots of Europe. The deputy from Rassemblement National attacked him: “Your Europe is 60 years old, ours is 3,000! You have made Europe the backyard of Washington, the prey of Beijing, the doormat of Erdogan, and the hotel of Africa.”
The distribution of votes among the various right-wing candidates resembles a game of communicating vessels. Marine Le Pen is ploughing her own furrow. Eric Zemmour puts ‘des mots sur des maux’ (words on evils): it is what he does best. He can participate in the reconfiguration of the French right. Will he go much further?