Legislative: at the National Rally, the settling of accounts has already begun

10:00 a.m., May 29, 2022

For little, it feels like going back five weeks. This Thursday at 10 a.m., in the aisles of the garage sales of Londinières (Seine-Maritime), a small town of 1,300 inhabitants in the Normandy hinterland, Marine Le Pen wanders in a smell of sausage, in the middle of the stalls second-hand clothes and toys. Television cameras and national press journalists are a little less numerous than during the presidential campaign, but the format is the same: an hour of selfies and forced smiles, with onlookers coming to approach the head of the National Rally (RN). Except for one novelty.

In the arms of Marine Le Pen, a stack of flyers bearing the image of Patrice Martin, the local candidate for the legislative elections. The copies she distributes are returned to her immediately by her admirers, who are more interested in an autograph from their idol than in the local stage program. Marine Le Pen complies, taking care not to scribble on the face of her unknown candidate. The latter tries to stand behind her despite the crowd, while Guillaume Pennelle, the department’s RN manager, carries the ice cream cone that a showman has just offered to his boss.

A counter-time strategy

During the presidential election, Marine Le Pen had led a campaign of proximity, multiplying trips to the markets of rural communes. For the legislative elections, bis repetita. “Why would we change the things that work? pretends to question Sébastien Chenu, one of his close advisers. It works very well when she is in empathy and in direct contact with the French. »

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But, a month after the election, this strategy appears out of time with a political landscape in turmoil. The presidential majority is taking advantage of the dynamics of Emmanuel Macron’s re-election to renew itself. Jean-Luc Mélenchon mobilizes his electorate by agitating the hypothesis of becoming Prime Minister, after having united the left under the label Nupes (New Popular Ecological and Social Union). Marine Le Pen, she seems out of story. Yesterday and today, she organized “a weekend of national action for purchasing power” with a warm taste.

Declaring the victory of Together! on June 19, she beat the recall of her voters by offering them to embody an opposition “serious” and ” strong “, with in sight the threshold of 60 deputies, which would allow him to seize the Constitutional Council to challenge the bills of the government. “The idea that Marine Le Pen can write to Laurent Fabius is sure to excite our voters! » ironically a party collaborator.

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Internally, the criticisms are getting louder and louders. “The legislative campaign was not well prepared”, pings a manager. It involves the nine days of “floating” which followed the presidential election, during which the RN seemed to have disappeared from the radar while Jean-Luc Mélenchon saturated the space. “Everything rests on Marine, continues this chosen one. She is going on vacation for a week, and nothing is happening in the party. »

Jordan Bardella weakened

The sequence could weaken Jordan Bardella, the interim president, whose presence, some believe, was not enough to compensate for the absence of his leader. But, for others, the flaws are to be found on the side of the intransigence of the staff of the RN, which refuses to address the right-wing electorate. “Some oppose the popular base of the RN to the rural right, on which we made big gains during the presidential election, deplores a candidate from a winnable constituency. I don’t understand why there is no convergence of struggles. »

These dissensions occur in a tense climate. While no assessment of the presidential campaign has officially been drawn up internally, the appointment of officials has already begun. On the one hand, RN barons who believe that the campaign team missed the second round by organizing press conferences to to “presidentialize” Le Pen instead of plowing the land, his greatest strength. On the other, the artisans of the presidential who reproach the caciques for their lack of involvement to reappear during the last week of the competition. This atmosphere of score settling has already claimed its first collateral victim: Leif Blanc.

Marine Le Pen’s agricultural adviser was ejected from the legislative elections, despite having been promised a post. “Marine refuses the third round, he attacks. She has no plans and asks her 13.3 million voters to vote for hamsters on wheels in 500 constituencies. All this to get money into the cash register! » The bearded man with the air of a gentleman-farmer delivered his uncompromising story behind the scenes of the campaign, in a video posted Thursday on YouTube by the New Right media, Elements. One more annoyance for Marine Le Pen.

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Legislative: at the National Rally, the settling of accounts has already begun


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