• The Republicans party activists will nominate the champion of the right in a vote in congress in early December.

  • Michel Barnier is one of six candidates to represent the right in the 2022 presidential election.

  • Faced with the long-announced duel between Xavier Bertrand and Valérie Pécresse, the former Brexit negotiator is on the way to becoming the favorite.

“It's a first victory.

"In the camp of Michel Barnier, the participation of Xavier Bertand in the Congress of Republicans, announced Tuesday, is a relief.

“His strategy of solitary candidacy has failed, squeaks Brigitte Kuster, LR deputy for Paris.

It was difficult to ask for the support of his political family, and incidentally his funding, without accepting the rules.

That has the merit of clarifying the situation.

"

Six names will therefore be submitted to LR members from December 2 to 6 to designate their champion in the 2022 presidential election. And faced with the long-announced duel between Xavier Bertrand and Valérie Pécresse, the former Brexit negotiator is on the way to becoming the favorite .

"He has the right to hope that loyalty will be credited to him ..."

A few months ago, however, few people would have bet a kopeck on the former European commissioner to raise the flag of the right. His candidacy at the end of August did not cause much noise. “He made a furrow, step by step. At the Parc Floral de Paris, at the beginning of September, the enthusiasm of young people surprised more than one, continues Brigitte Kuster. The other turning point came two weeks later, on parliamentary days. Those who did not know him well or had forgotten him a little rediscovered him. These signs internally are important. And then the networks were set up. "

With around fifty supporters of parliamentarians in the bag, Michel Barnier has increased the number of trips on the territory, again at the end of the week in the Bouches-du-Rhône and the Var.

“He left later but he's on the ground, going to see as many federations as possible.

He does not consider himself as a favorite, but he has the right to hope that loyalty is put to his credit… ”, boasts Olivier Marleix, LR deputy for Eure-et-Loire and support.

This is Michel Barnier's main asset in this internal ballot: of the three favorites, he is the only one to have never left the shop.

And the resentment of the members seems tenacious, in particular towards Xavier Bertrand, who had slammed the door with a bang at the end of 2017, the day after the election of Laurent Wauquiez at the head of the movement.

Loved by activists, but weighed down by the polls?

In September, in an internal consultation launched by the deputy Julien Aubert on a basis of about 8,000 members - far from the 87,000 called to vote in December -, Michel Barnier also came out on top. The consultation, without scientific value, had its small effect among the Republicans. Especially since the former minister is also the first choice of the 101 federation presidents, according to a consultation launched Thursday by France 2. “Barnier scored points. But a large proportion of activists do not yet know who to vote for. They are waiting to meet the candidates, to discuss their program. And they will be very pragmatic because they want above all to win in 2022 ”, relativizes Arnaud Julien, boss of the LR Hérault federation.

It is perhaps here that the shoe pinches for Michel Barnier.

The former European commissioner is stagnant in the polls, below 10%.

Far from Xavier Bertrand - around 15% -, and even more of a qualification for the second round.

A handicap for the congress?

“Barnier is the candidate of the heart.

It must also become the choice of reason by increasing its notoriety among the French because the activists want above all to get Macron out of the Elysee Palace, ”recognizes Daniel Fasquelle, LR mayor of Le Touquet and political advisor.

"It's the French Joe Biden"

To boost his campaign, Michel Barnier curls the President of the Republic and plays the card of appeasement. "I want to be the president of the reconciliation of the French," he said. His camp praises the international and governmental experience of the 70-year-old ex-elected Savoy, several times ministers. “After five years, Emmanuel Macron leaves a fractured society. Barnier is the French Joe Biden. As in post-Trump America, there is a need for a rally, ”assures Daniel Fasquelle. His supporters paint him as anti-Macron, his opponents denounce his ideological reversals, on immigration or on the questioning of European justice.

“He wants to appear as the one who washes whiter than white on the right, but there would be a lot to say about his connections with Macron.

Activists do not have to nominate their party leader, but the best candidate for the right.

And today, all the polls say it, it is Xavier Bertrand ”, replies a deputy close to the president of Hauts-de-France.

In the final race, Michel Barnier could benefit from a significant advantage: the implicit support of Laurent Wauquiez, darling of LR activists.

Daniel Fasquelle smiles: “Wauquiez has a particular affection for Michel Barnier.

That he sees his candidacy favorably, I cannot blame him.

"

Politics

Presidential 2022: Favorite of right-wing polls but unloved by activists, the Xavier Bertrand paradox

Politics

Presidential 2022: Favorite of right-wing polls but unloved by activists, the Xavier Bertrand paradox

  • Valerie Pécresse

  • Campaign

  • Xavier Bertrand

  • Presidential election 2022

  • The Republicans (LR)

  • Law

  • Michel barnier

Keywords: michel barnier, favorite., lr, valérie pécresse, xavier bertrand, 2022the republicans, right, way, duel, brigitte kuster, european, favorite, candidates, one, congress