The side of president Emmanuel Macron and that of the leftist leader Jean-Luc Melenchon they exchanged darts this Friday, on the last day of the campaign for the legislative elections, with the parliamentary majority hanging in the balance.
The economic proposals to combat the price increase, blocking the extreme right and the alleged opportunism of Macron’s recent trip to Ukraine were the main axes of a dispute that has soured in recent days as the campaign progressed.
“Miracle recipes have never existed, today less than ever. Regardless of the situation, the response of the macronists is the market. Our response is solidarity“, summed up Mélenchon at a press conference of the new left-wing coalition NUPES. Instead, the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, said in a radio interview that “there are two very different projects (…) Ours seeks to protect employment, the other involves massive taxation“, for which he urged to achieve “a solid majority” on Sunday.
Macron, in an interview with the all news television channel BFMTV during his return by train from Ukraine to Poland, stressed that a “strong” and “truly European” France is neededalluding to Mélenchon’s warnings that, if he comes to government, he will not respect certain EU rules that he believes harm France.
The fight to achieve, or avoid, the absolute majority of Ensemble -the macronista alliance- has taken the so-called “republican front”, the cordon sanitaire through which the parties have traditionally appealed to vote in favor of the candidate (of the whatever ideology) that faces a far-rightist from the RN in the second round. “In the face of the extreme right, I have asked for the vote to communist, socialist and environmental candidates. There are 107 constituencies in which the presidential majority faces the RN. In none of them has Mélenchon asked to support the majority,” Borne reproached. But the leftist coalition launches the same complaint towards the Macronists, since they consider that some of the calls to vote against the RN are very lukewarm and do not include the candidates from Mélenchon’s party, the most radical La France Insumisa.
The other major focus of discussion was the government’s response to criticism of Macron’s visit to Ukraine, described by the other parties as electioneering. The moment of the trip “is what was needed” to act as Europeans, the president assured in the interview, since it took place just one day before the European Commission declared Ukraine and Moldova candidate countries to enter the EU, something which should be endorsed at the European Council next week.
The prime minister insisted for her part that Macron “is dealing with international affairs at a very serious time.”
Difficult absolute majority
In a National Assembly of 577 deputies, the absolute majority is 289. The Ipsos poll for public radio and television released this Friday grants to the macronistas 265-305 deputies, while Elabe’s for various private media is even tighter: 255-295 seats. A third Opinion Way poll for the economic daily Les Echos is more favorable to Ensemble (375-305) deputies, although the absolute majority remains complicated. That of Ifop for several private television channels attributes to Ensemble between 270 and 300 deputies.
Nupes would obtain between 140 and 210 seats, according to those four polls, to become the largest opposition force. The conservative right of the Republicans (LR) would be in third place and, despite its strong fall, could become the referee of the situation in the event that Macron does not renew the absolute majority. In addition, LR has a relative majority in the Senate.
As for the extreme right of the National Association (RN) of Marine Le Pen, it would be in fourth position with a setback in votes compared to the presidential ones, but the polls attribute its best result in a legislative one and the possibility of forming a parliamentary group ( minimum of 15 deputies).