At the National Assembly, the end of novices and the “new world” glimpsed in 2017

At the National Assembly, the end of novices and the “new world” glimpsed in 2017

In many ways, the 2017 legislative elections were an exception in French political life. This is what researchers from the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) Sébastien Michon, Louis Casenave dit Milhet, Gaston Vermersch and Etienne Ollion describe in a note, published on Thursday February 2, entitled “The end of renewal? Social and political portrait of the deputies of the XVIe legislature”. After analyzing the sociological profile of the 577 deputies elected or re-elected in June 2022, they observe that “this new Assembly is the end of the new world”explains Etienne Ollion, director of sociology research at the CNRS, in reference to the massive turnover of political staff at the national level in May 2017.

Read also: The profiles of the new deputies of the National Assembly

In the wake of Emmanuel Macron’s arrival at the Elysee Palace, there were 160 novices, then labeled as civil society candidates, without a mandate or paid political experience. But, according to the authors, this parenthesis ended in June with the XVIe legislature, which marks the return in force “political professionals” on the benches of the Assembly, with more traditional routes. Only 15% of MPs in 2022 (compared to 28% in 2017) had no political experience at the time of their election.

This return to the characteristics of the traditional political world paradoxically comes at a time when the Palais-Bourbon is experiencing profound upheaval, with the loss of the absolute majority by the presidential coalition, led by Renaissance (formerly La République en Marche, LRM). Far from the spontaneous recruitment on CV of 2017, the macronist formation has bet on continuity in the choice of its candidates, like the presidential campaign by Emmanuel Macron. For the legislative Renaissance highlighted its outgoing deputies and above all presented personalities “very politically capped” by going to dig at the Elysée, in ministerial offices or within the organization chart of the party.

“Rather conservative strategy”

This is the case of Pierre Cazeneuve (Hauts-de-Seine), former member of Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet, but also Charles Rodwell (Yvelines), Charles Sitzenstuhl (Bas-Rhin) and Louis Margueritte (Saône-et-Loire) , all three from the office of Bruno Le Maire in Bercy, or Mathieu Lefèvre (Val-de-Marne), former ministerial adviser to Gérald Darmanin. Paul Midy (Essonne) and Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet (Paris) were, for their part, in the staff of the presidential party before their election in June.

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