France, “It’s the economy, stupid”

MARCO MICHIELI
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[PARIS]

After the shock of the dissolution of the National Assembly and the call for new legislative elections in two rounds on June 30 and July 7, with the prospect of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement Nationale (RN) coming to power, we take a look the first data on the reasons behind the European vote and the composition of the electorate.

RN, The Party-of-Discontent Takes All

The list led by Jordan Bardella led in almost every socio-demographic category analyzed in the Ipsos survey. It gained ten points among women (20 percent of the vote in 2019, compared to 30 percent currently), confirming the end of the gender gap specific to the far right. Among those under 25, the RN went from 15 to 26 percent of the votes. Ipsos also says that the progression of RN is strongest in the middle class, where Le Pen’s party now dominates: it went from 19 to 29 percent in intermediate professions, from 16 to 29 percent among those with a diploma, from 13 to 20 percent of the votes among managers, and its traditional electorate is strengthening (40 percent among employees, a record 54 percent among workers, +14 points). The RN has therefore become the top party among employed workers (36 percent of the votes), in the public sector (34 percent) and in the private sector (37 percent). The RN vote also largely penetrated the pensioners category, with 29 percent of the votes (it was 22 percent in 2019). What political areas do these votes come from? The votes come from all sides: 8 percent of the voters who had chosen Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the 2022 Presidential elections and who went to the European elections this time chose to vote RN, as did 9 percent of those who had voted for Fabien Roussel and 7 percent who had voted for Emmanuel Macron; almost 20 percent of Valérie Pécresse’s electorate (Les Republicains, center-right) and 43 percent of Eric Zemmour’s electorate. Ipsos adds that the electoral base has strengthened considerably and only did not obtain first place among the very wealthy categories, who voted primarily for Renaissance, the party of President Emmanuel Macron. Which choices weighed in the vote for the RN? According to Ipsos, immigration (79 percent) and purchasing power (61 percent) are largely in the lead, with security (31 percent), the health system (25 percent) and the terrorist threat (24 percent) far behind.

Valérie Hayer, presidente of Renew Europe

Renaissance, the Collapse of the President’s Party

According to Ipsos, the president’s party suffered a collapse in various categories. It decreased by over 60 percent among office workers, workers and the unemployed, and dropped by 50 percent among executives, where it was surpassed by Raphaël Glucksmann’s PS-Place publique. It has also lost a lot of weight among young people, going from 17 percent of the votes in 2019 to only 7 percent this year among 25–34-year-olds. As regards the issues, Macron’s electorate considers “the role of France in the world and in Europe” as the main motivation for voting (50 percent), followed by the “war in Ukraine” (44 percent) and farther from the top, purchasing power (28 percent). Together with the PS-PP, Renaissance is the only party in which voters indicated “the war in Ukraine” among the main reasons for voting, issues on which the two parties had expressed strong positions. If we look at the social milieu, the electorate is essentially made up of wealthy environments (26 percent) and the upper middle classes (21 percent, where RN surpasses Renaissance by one point), and lower middle classes (15 percent).

Raphaël Glucksmann voting

PS-PP, the Interclass Party

The PS-Place publique saw its percentages multiply in almost every category, with the exception of workers (7 percent in 2019, 7 percent today) and young people between 18-24 years of age (5 percent in 2019, 5 percent today). PS-Place publique outperformed Renaissance in all categories of active workers, but not among pensioners and the wealthy categories. Politically, it managed to get 25 percent of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s electorate in the last Presidential elections, 30 percent of that of Fabien Roussel (PCF, communists), 32 percent of that of Yannick Jadot (Greens) but also 16 percent of that of Emmanuel Macron. If we look at its social composition, the PS-PP is quite homogeneously composed of an electorate ranging from the popular to the privileged classes.

As regards the issues, environmental protection is at the top of the concerns (46%), purchasing power (38 percent), “the role of France in the world and in Europe” (34 percent) and ” war in Ukraine” (33 percent).

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, center

LFI, the Youth Vote, Worried About Gaza

La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party, is very successful among young people, especially for its very strong position on the “situation in Gaza”, considered one of the main determinants of the vote by 22 percent of 18–24-year-olds, compared to 6 percent of all voters.

Ipsos then tested future candidacies for the 2027 presidential elections. Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen are the ones who obtain the best results when asked whether it is a good thing for these personalities to become president. Furthermore, they are not among the political figures who obtain the most negative judgments when asked about if they were to become president of the republic: with Bardella’s 50 and Le Pen’s 53, the two RN figures distance themselves from the one who is perceived in a very negative way by the electorate interviewed by Ipsos, namely Mélenchon, viewed negatively by 75 of those interviewed, followed by Francois Hollande (60 percent) following rumors of his possible candidacy), Gerald Darmanin, Minister of the Interior (56 percent) and Laurent Wauquiez, center-right (55 percent). The least negative opinion was obtained by Macron’s former prime minister, Eduard Philippe (38 percent), the only center-right figure to obtain good results with the PS-PP and environmentalist electorate, as well as in Renassaince and Les Republicains.

If we look at the social composition, LFI has a base essentially made up of disadvantaged social environments and working classes. “Angry” France is the category that describes the LFI electorate, according to the feeling of belonging, however far from the 47 percent of the RN. As regards the issues, purchasing power (53 percent), the level of social inequalities (48 percent) and environmental protection (40 percent) are the most important issues, followed by the situation in Gaza (36 percent).

Translation by Paul Rosenberg

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France, “It’s the economy, stupid” ultima modifica: 2024-06-10T13:40:35+02:00 da MARCO MICHIELI
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