Gilles Legendre, the patron of deputies La Republique en Marche (LREM), and Stanislas Guerini, general delegate of LREM, here at the National Assembly. (Illustration) - LUDOVIC MARIN-POOL / SIPA
- La République en Marche is expecting a “bust” in the second round of municipal elections scheduled for June 28.
- The movement claims work on local implantation but the boss of the macronist party, Stanislas Guerini, is regularly attacked.
- Weakened by internal critics, the political group wonders about its role in the perspective of 2022.
At the beginning of February, a manager from La République en Marche summed up the challenges of the upcoming campaign at 20 Minutes . “The results of the municipal elections will be made on this question: will the president have mayors to support his policy locally? Less than two weeks before the second round, the mission already seems doomed to failure. In the window, La République en Marche can claim to have reached the (modest) objective of 10,000 elected councilors. But the hope of bringing down big cities is now very slim.
"We will take a bust," said the official today, "because we will be judged in terms of the top ten cities and on our score in Paris", where the president party does not seem able to win. Behind the scenes, the movement is seriously criticized, and the pressure increases on its boss, Stanislas Guerini, in a context of tension within the LREM group at the Assembly.
LREM, a “drunk boat”
"The party has become a drunken boat," growls a Macronist parliamentarian close to the executive. Created in April 2016 to bring Emmanuel Macron to power, the party has shown itself to be formidably effective as a presidential springboard. But since May 2017, he has struggled to find his place. And this question has become more acute in recent months. “How can LREM survive after the election of Emmanuel Macron? "Wonders Jean-Michel Fauvergue, deputy for Seine-et-Marne. “The party has to mutate, we have to go beyond the quarrels of people, build the future. "
Since its founder is at the Elysée, LREM also suffers from an embodiment problem. A collegial leadership gave way in November 2017 to an unenthusiastic Christophe Castaner, before Stanislas Guerini won the internal election against Pierre Person at the end of 2018. "I understand Aramaic poetry better than Guerini when he expresses, quips a historical macronist. It is an eel. He's nice, but he doesn't printand the war with Person doesn't help. The relations between the general delegate and his number 2 have continued to deteriorate against a background of strategic differences, weakening the movement.
Critics of Stanislas Guerini
In the Assembly too, tensions emerged, leading to the departure of several deputies and the loss of an absolute majority for the LREM group. Very criticized, the president of the group, Gilles Le Gendre, almost lost his post, saved in extremis after a stormy internal meeting last week.
“In Macronie, we hate sensibilities. It creates a pressure cooker: debates do not happen, a source slides within the party. The party did not do doctrinal work, because many did not want it, of which Stanislas Guerini. This would imply assuming a power relationship with the government. LREM struggles to weigh politically and ideologically in the face of the executive and ministers from the right. What to worry some about the role to play for 2022.
"Stanislas does the job, he works a lot to establish the party, it is a difficult mission", defends Paris deputy Sylvain Maillard, also spokesperson for the group in the Assembly. “We voted for new statutes that will bring a new generation and be closer to the territories at the start of the school year. But this internal vote, in December 2019, also revealed the demobilization of members. According to the party, only 4.2% of them participated in the consultation on the decentralization of the movement, or 17,820 walkers out of the 420,000 claimed. In August 2017, 72,066 members had voted in a similar internal ballot.
"You have to see where we started from, the party has been left fallow since 2017, specifies Laurent Saint-Martin", member of the Val-de-Marne and close to the boss of LREM. "Stanislas Guerini allowed the movement to remain audible and even to cross a course, by being force of proposals during the European ones and for the post-Covid".
The coronavirus crisis did not help anything, revealing the limits of the “start-up” organization applied to the party. “We have tons of Telegram loops, with lots of walkers, but when it comes to meeting… I'm exhausted by this bullshit, you need a real party! Said a member of the executive committee. "We are a young group, we need face-to-face, we only saw each other by videoconference, it is not easy to think collectively", recognizes Sylvain Maillard.
The management of LREM concedes that "the municipal ones have aroused local tensions and demotivated certain walkers", but are united around Stanislas Guerini. "The period is conducive to turmoil, some spread the noise of a crisis, but he has the complete confidence of Emmanuel Macron", wants to believe those around him. At a time when the Head of State advocates "to reinvent himself", the role of LREM and its leaders could also soon be decided.
LREM: Contested, Gilles Le Gendre saves his head as president of the group in the National Assembly
Municipal 2020: Withdrawals, alliances, dissidents… How La République en Marche approaches the second round
- Emmanuel Macron
- Stanislas Guerini