Neither Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right and the third French presidential candidate, nor her rival, el polemista ultra Eric Zemmour. For the current president, Emmanuel Macron, the most feared contender in next spring’s election is another.
Se llama Valerie Pecres, an experienced politician who has served as Minister several times and for six years, presides over the Paris region, Ile-de-France. He speaks Russian and Japanese. Like Macron, he was trained at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), a stronghold of French leaders.
Two weeks ago, Los Republicanos (LR) fighters, the French equivalent of the Spanish People’s Party, chose her as a candidate, and Pécresse has proven herself in the polls as the only contender who can beat Macron. She is the first woman in her political family, who claims to be General de Gaulle, who is a candidate and has options for victory.
Pécresse (Neuilly-sur-Seine, 54 years old) belongs to The moderate social right identifies with President Jacques Chirac (1932-2019). She defines herself as “two-thirds of Angela Merkel and one-third of Margaret Thatcher”: the pragmatism and credibility of the former German chancellor combined with a few drops of the reformist audacity of the British prime minister who in the 1980s promoted the liberation of a revolution with the American Ronald Reagan.
“She doesn’t look like Merkel, although she does have the fact of being a woman in common with her,” says journalist Marion van Ringengm, author of a biography and a documentary about Merkel and the publication of Interviews with Pekris. In 2019. “They also have in common with calmness and team spirit. And like Merkel, she has known how to fight masculinity, and that is something that has strengthened her.”
In the French electoral system, elections are held in two rounds. The first time, this time called April 10, all candidates attend. The two with the most votes qualify for the second, which will be on April 24. Several polls indicate that Pecres will beat Le Pen and Zemmour in the first round. In the second, he will remain close to Macron or even defeat him.
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A poll conducted by the Elabe Institute in early December indicated that Pécresse would receive 52% of the vote and Macron on 48%. On the other hand, against Le Pen or Zemmour, Macron will comfortably win.
“For Valerie Pecresse, it’s simple: the hardest thing was the election in her party,” she says in her office. Alan Mink, prolific columnist, business executive, and advisor to presidents. Minc refers to the LR primary, which was also held for two rounds. Peckers beat Eric Ciotti, a representative of the party wing who flirts with the far right without apology, by the second.
Mink continues his reasoning: “The second difficulty is the first round of the presidential election.” Despite LR’s weakness and despite the internal divisions between Pecker’s moderate wing and the pro-convergence wing with the far right, he will have to gather enough votes to take second place (all polls indicate that Macron today will be the most voted in the first return).
“In my opinion, yes [Pécresse] He beats the first round, and the second will be a formality,” concludes Mink. “I am sure that in this case she will be elected because she will benefit from the deep anti-Macron sentiment in the country.”
Minc’s analysis is important because Minc is who he is: someone who has been very close to Macron for years, but who maintains that, contrary to what seemed certain even a few weeks ago, his re-election will not be easy.
Macron has a strong but limited base: about a quarter of the electorate. In most parts of the country, Mink notes, It awakens hatred and withdraws the image of arrogance and elitism.
Pecres poses another problem for the centrist Macron. Ideologically, they are close: it is somewhat more conservative; Its more liberal. Pecres could easily have been Macron’s president or prime minister, as has been the case with other former members of the House of Representatives.
“Beckris is Macron: He has the same training as Macron, the same kind of intelligence,” Mink says.
A second round against Pecresse will dismantle a basic argument for Macron these years: voting for him is a guarantee to prevent the far-right and nationalist populists from coming to power in France. This argument helped him defeat Le Pen in 2017 with 64% of the vote and broad support from the left.
But if Macron’s rival is not Le Pen or Zemmour, but rather a moderate candidate who does not endanger the system and belongs to the same universe as Macron, then the argument for me or caoCollapses. The message remains exciting, but complex after five years in power.
“In a second campaign, what can you say? He has already ruled, what does he say?” Mink asks. “He only had one argument left. It was to say, ‘I am your security.’ ‘You know who I am.’ It’s an argument that will not be served as much by someone like Becqueres. This woman has presided over the largest French territory for six years!”
But Pecris won nothing. Pollsters are likely to benefit from the influence of the new after his nomination and that when the campaign begins he loses momentum. It must be balanced to keep your party together, Where the hardened wing, seduced by Zemmour, pushes her away from the center.
Her party’s extreme right-wing was precisely the reason why the president of Ile-de-France claimed he left her in 2019, even though she returned a few months ago to participate in the primaries. The game, in fact, has not changed much.
Pécresse is looking for the midpoint. “We must not allow the future of France to be left in the hands of stagnation or extremism,” he said in a speech last weekend. Stalemate, in her opinion, is the current president; Extremism, Le Pen and Zemore. “The French understood: it will be Macron or us,” he added.
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