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Presidential 2022: “Zemmour turbulates on the right as Macron did on the left” – Presidential Election


How to explain Eric Zemmour’s rapid breakthrough?

Éric Zemmour turbulates on the right as Emmanuel Macron did on the left, five years ago. He is coagulating a political space straddling LR and the right-wing fringe of the National Rally. The parallel is striking with what the Head of State has achieved by bringing together center left and center right, even if we must be careful, Eric Zemmour is not yet a candidate.

Both are underdogs who have thrived on the contradictions of one side. In the same way that a PS ranging from Gérard Filoche to Manuel Valls could no longer hold out, it is complicated for the RN to bring together the voters of Hénin-Beaumont and the wealthy retirees of the south-east of France. In both cases, party boundaries do not match those of electorates and intruders capitalize on these dissonances.

Does this mean that Eric Zemmour has a solid base?

The Zemmour phenomenon is not just a bubble. There is a form of consistency, both ideological and sociological. Question: can he achieve what Macron did, knowing that he does not have the same networks? Zemmour is further from the seraglio. Its media networks are strong, but it has fewer relays in the senior civil service and is less close to the economic world that it frightens more. Let us not forget also that Macron benefited from an alignment of planets (renunciation of François Hollande, Fillon affair) which will not necessarily happen again for Zemmour.

Rémi Lefebvre, professor of political science at the University of Lille and specialist in political parties. (RL)

Does the emergence of Eric Zemmour mean that we have definitely entered the era of “political entrepreneurs”?

Presidential spoilers or “third man”, there have always been. What is changing is that the political system is much more fragile and unstable today. Its deconstruction is still in progress. And nobody can say: “Zemmour, it cannot go to the end”. Because there was Macron. Having said that, I am convinced that you cannot campaign without a party. This is why Xavier Bertrand wants the nomination of LR so much, because he needs funding. What has changed is that before, it was the parties that made the candidates. While today it is rather the opposite.

A polling institute evokes the possibility of a Macron-Zemmour duel in the second round. Would such a poster correspond to the new frontiers of the electorate?

No, because Zemmour is the favored wing of the RN electorate and the sociologically affluent right. As for Macron’s voters, they are mostly CSP +. Such a duel would leave popular circles out of the field, which would also translate a logic: the non-representation of these categories is a structural characteristic of the current political system.