Far-right candidate Eric Zemmour came in fourth on Sunday in the first round of the presidential election, with nearly 77.1% of the vote.
The experts interviewed by
believe that this failure started due to the themes brought forward by the candidate – in particular immigration and security – while the priorities of voters focused on purchasing power.
But, according to Jérémy Pelletier and Jean-Yves Camus, Eric Zemmour's score is not entirely a failure.
Among Eric Zemmour's supporters, we have the art of the formula.
"It's an encouraging defeat, but in view of the popular momentum generated, we could have expected better", confides one of them to
It is true that with 7.1% of the votes obtained on Sunday April 10, 2022, the far-right candidate missed his bet to be present in the second round of the presidential election, which will see Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen s face at the polls.
"When we look at his score, we can speak of a failure, in any case of a significant fall in relation to his ambitions and the ambitions of his party", notes Jérémy Pelletier, director of studies at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
“Especially when you see how the candidate and his supporters started the campaign, the media coverage and the visibility they benefited from, no doubt excessively,” he adds.
The polemicist, who was credited with 17 to 18% of voting intentions in mid-October, built his campaign on a single theme: "National identity, the fight against immigration and issues related to Islam. and religion,” recalls Jérémy Pelletier.
“It was able to speak to his electorate but it was insufficient to hold in length, while there were other themes in this campaign.
The former journalist, in particular, overlooked the issue of purchasing power, yet one of the main concerns of the French.
"On this subject, he said little, he was considered neither legitimate, nor relevant, nor credible", underlines the director of studies of the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
"I don't know how he didn't think of it"
A specialist in nationalism and extremism in Europe, political scientist Jean-Yves Camus also observes that Eric Zemmour “attaches secondary importance to the social question”.
" It's a mistake !
“Indeed, observes the researcher associated with Iris (Institute for interdisciplinary research on social issues), “the score of Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon proves that their intuition was correct.
To this error of strategy, we must add pro-Putin positions fully assumed when Russia invaded Ukraine, a lack of empathy vis-à-vis the Ukrainian refugees, and the successive hiccups that punctuated his movements : a finger of honor in Marseille last November, violence committed by some of his supporters against members of SOS Racisme during his meeting in Villepinte in December, or even a gun pointed by the candidate at journalists at the Milipol fair in last October… Not to mention misogynistic remarks and suspicions of sexual assault which may have confused part of the female electorate, as well as their legal setbacks.
Eric Zemmour also failed in his "union of rights" project.
The far-right candidate has certainly succeeded in obtaining the support of a few LR executives – like Guillaume Peltier, former number 2 of the party – and of the National Rally, like Senator Stéphane Ravier or MEP Nicolas Bay.
He won over part of the conservative Catholic electorate, close to the Manif pour tous.
But, as figures published on Monday by the Ipsos institute show, workers and employees have largely remained loyal to Marine Le Pen.
“Becoming President of the Republic requires a more solid social base than western Paris and a few bastions in the suburbs, particularly in the Yvelines, observes Jean-Yves Camus.
I don't know how he didn't think of that.
“He has very few chosen ones with him”
Still, the polemicist is ahead of the Republican candidate, Valérie Pécresse or the Green candidate, Yannick Jadot.
“If we take stock, it is true that for the candidate of an emerging formation, who declared himself in November, it is not quite a failure”, underlines Jean-Yves Camus.
“When we compare the score of Zemmour, a newcomer on the national political scene, to that of candidates from parties that have been established for a long time, this makes it possible to put into perspective” the extent of his defeat, adds Jérémy Pelletier.
Unlike them, who obtained less than 5% of the votes cast, “he will be able to be reimbursed for his campaign expenses”.
But the day after the first round, a question arises: will this score allow him to exist permanently in politics?
"It's difficult to settle in the long term without an agreement with a party that has a much larger network than him", continues the director of studies at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
And to add: “He has very few elected officials with him, people settled in the territories.
However, you need a territorial base to exist in the long term.
It will be complicated for him to obtain deputies, a parliamentary group, without an alliance with the National Rally.
It all depends on what will happen in this between-two rounds and at the end of the second.
There may very well be no agreement between Zemmour and Marine Le Pen.
She has no interest in appearing with him because,
for the voters of Mélenchon who could give him their vote, he is a foil.
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Presidential election 2022