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Regional 2021: an election that restores confidence to the right


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In great difficulty since the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 presidential election, the right has found a smile on Sunday evening after regional elections which have been favorable to it. For the boss of the Republicans, Christian Jacob, the right is now “the only force of alternation”.

There was not a minute to lose for Xavier Bertrand, easy winner in Hauts-de-France. As soon as the results of the second round of the regional elections were announced, Sunday, June 27, at 8 p.m., the declared presidential candidate of 2022 was already behind his desk for a declaration of victory that looked more like a campaign launch.

“This result gives me the strength to go out and meet all the French,” said Xavier Bertrand, 56, in his stronghold of Saint-Quentin. In a first variation of his program of “recovery” of France, he listed as a “preliminary” the “reestablishment of order” in the face of “insecurity which undermines the Republic”.

“My goal is that work pays again, that we can live with dignity, to raise our children,” “my priority is the middle classes and popular categories,” added the one who presents himself as a ” Social Gaullist “, taking advantage of a” new social project for better living everywhere “, that of the” Republic of the territories “.

>> To read: Regional 2021: the outgoing reelected in a ballot again dominated by abstention

The former minister of Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy is not mistaken. These regional elections showed that the right, despite a record abstention, still benefited from a significant territorial anchoring. It was thus able to keep its seven metropolitan regions: in addition to Hauts-de-France, the right wing won in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes with Laurent Wauquiez, in the Grand Est with Jean Rottner, in Île-de-France with Valérie Pécresse , in Normandy with Hervé Morin, in Pays de la Loire with Christelle Morancais and in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur with Renaud Muselier.

“Today we are clearly the only force for alternation”

“It’s a great victory for us, a collapse for the RN [Rassemblement national] and a humiliation for LREM [La République en marche]”, reacted the president of the Republicans (LR), Christian Jacob.” We have largely won the municipal elections, we have won the senatorial, partial legislative, departmental, regional: today we are clearly the only force to ‘alternation,’ he added.

Many LR’s tenors went in the same direction Sunday evening, not hesitating to see in the results of these regional elections the return to the foreground of their political family.

>> To see: Regional 2021: the right wing big winner of the poll?

“To those who still doubt it, the right is more than ever standing this evening”, notably abounded the president of the LR group in the National Assembly, Damien Abad, in a tweet, estimating that “united, we can more than never win the presidential election. Tonight’s results are very encouraging. “

Above all, the Republicans can be proud of having been able to resist the assaults of La République en Marche, which wanted to take advantage of the regions to fracture the right a little more. The Paca operation had ignited the powder, but LR was able to hold out in the storm, staying the course to maintain its own identity.

An abstention that qualifies the cries of victory of the right

The results proved him right: not only his candidates, apart from Renaud Muselier, did not need the presidential party to win, but above all, it is LREM which emerges weakened within a year of the presidential election. The failure is obvious in Hauts-de-France: while five ministers, including Gérald Darmanin (Interior) and Éric Dupond-Moretti (Justice) had been sent on a campaign to force Xavier Bertrand – who is no longer a member of LR but remains very linked to his old party – to an alliance in the in-between rounds, the list led by Laurent Pietraszewski did not even qualify for the second round.

However, massive abstention, estimated at around 66% in the second round of the regional, qualifies the cries of victory of the right. “What we measured is the ability of a rather elderly electorate to continue to go to the polls. I do not know whether to see a particular enthusiasm for right-wing candidates,” said the political scientist Céline Braconnier, abstention specialist, interviewed by AFP.

>> To read: Regional 2021: on the right, a distance game between Bertrand, Pécresse and Wauquiez

In addition, if Xavier Bertrand occupies the media space by tirelessly repeating that he will be the candidate of the right in 2022, nothing has yet been decided in reality. Valérie Pécresse and Laurent Wauquiez, who can also boast of a great victory in Île-de-France and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, are advancing their pawns more discreetly. The boss of senators LR, Bruno Retailleau, and the former chief negotiator of the European Union on Brexit, Michel Barnier, are also in the starting blocks. In short, there is no shortage of suitors.

And by the time a candidate is appointed in November, the right has time to tear itself apart and be caught between the liberal line of Emmanuel Macron and the identity and security line of Marine Le Pen. So even if the right has regained confidence thanks to the regional, the Élysée is still far away.



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