Emmanuel Macron lost two million votes between the second round of the 2017 presidential election and that of the 2022 election. Here he is losing even more in the National Assembly. The initial objective, we would end up forgetting it, was that Renaissance, the Macronist party, alone had an absolute majority of 289 deputies. Five years ago, La République en Marche won 308 seats. This Sunday, June 19, according to our partner Elabe, the presidential majority as a whole would have 247 elected officials. Among the most resounding beaten, Richard Ferrand and Christophe Castaner, as well as several ministers. There are more deputies hostile to Emmanuel Macron this Sunday evening than deputies supporting him. We would be tempted to speak of the end of a reign if we had not just exceeded the fiftieth day of a mandate supposed to have more than 1800.
Since April 24, the most incomprehensible post-presidential sequence in history has taken place. Emmanuel Macron seems to disappear, to refuse the fight, and when he acts, it is not in a very happy way: the announcement of the first Borne government, for example, is disappointing. It had been said so much that the president would know how to change everything that the few rare novelties no longer appear as gadgets. The Elysée then reassures itself cheaply: “The method of voting for the legislative elections suits us, and the Nupes also suits us, especially with a view to the second round, by making us the central force”, confides an adviser.
To subscribers absent from politics, Emmanuel Macron leaves the field to others. In the Council of Ministers, Tuesday, June 14, he notes the loss in line between the presidential and the legislative elections. Remember that he is better than his representatives? Or the appearance of those disappointed with macronism, who do not understand the start of an arrest warrant? Doubt is everywhere, even in the government. “The CNR (national council for refoundation)? I don’t believe in it,” confides a minister.
The Elysée is on fire and blood, as reported by L’Express this week. The country looks away and when it agrees to observe the Head of State, it is a return to the past. “We saw the hatred against Macron emerge”, notes a support from the president. “Clearly, he only likes to hit,” laments, distraught, a former minister.
Elisabeth Borne, who showed during the legislative campaign that she was not majority leader, is she still able to prove that she knows how to be head of government? Will the composition of the next Assembly require a very political profile? Questions unimaginable a few days ago, unavoidable today.
The president begins his second demonetized five-year term. In the last hours of the campaign for the second round, he chained three television interviews to praise the virtues of his trip to Ukraine. Without succeeding in remedying the situation. It is now he who must invent an answer to this question: is France still governable? In his only meeting between the two presidential rounds, Emmanuel Macron said in Marseille: “I have no desire to do five more years. I want a complete renewal […]it should not be a continuation but a reinvention, a new ambition.” He no longer has the means for this ambition.
As soon as the results are announced, government spokesperson Olivia Grégoire, on the France 2 set, announces that she wants to reach out to elected deputies, on the left and on the right, who do not belong to her camp; appeals to “moderates” on both sides capable of getting closer to the presidential majority. Proof that the subject was discussed in the evening, at the Élysée, around the President of the Republic, who undoubtedly asked his lieutenants not to drag on the results of the evening and to project themselves on the compromises which must take place in the National Assembly. “It’s an unprecedented situation that will force us to overcome our certainties, our divisions,” adds Gabriel Attal, but doing so in a situation of weakness is rarely a guarantee of success.
Very quickly, it will undoubtedly be a question of article 12 of the Constitution, the one which allows the President of the Republic, “after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Presidents of the Assemblies, to pronounce the dissolution of the National Assembly. Elections general take place twenty days at least and forty days at most after the dissolution”. A period of one year is essential between two dissolutions, on the other hand the president can dissolve whenever he wishes after normal legislative elections. Still it is necessary first to bring the proof that it is in the impossibility to act. France is emerging from an electoral sequence with a president weakened as ever, institutions that no longer respond and a country fractured everywhere.
Eric Mandonnet and Erwan Bruckert