It would be a little arrogant to claim that we felt in the air the result of a vote that was decided by three votes. But while the environmentalist Benjamin Lucas is on the platform to defend the motion for prior rejection against the immigration bill, which arrived today at the National Assembly, he faced a hubbub in the station hall, without the usual invectives. The hemicycle is already on something else, notably on the LR and RN benches, who did not even take the trouble to mock the left-wing speech that the Yvelines MP was giving. The matter was in the bag, although we did not know it with certainty at the time.
We even wonder if Gérald Darmanin, clearly not on his best day at the microphone, didn’t see the ball coming towards him. “Not talking about immigration today, refusing the debate, is refusing what the French are asking for,” said the Minister of the Interior in the introduction before daring to say “Who is afraid of debate?” “. ” YOU ! “, shouted the opposition in chorus. Too easy, almost all of them referred to the twenty 49.3s used by Elisabeth Borne since she joined Matignon.
“When we belong to a government so adept at 49.3, we don’t give lessons in democracy,” says Edwige Diaz of the RN, who therefore announced the vote by her group on the motion to reject. Olivier Marleix, president of the LR group, did the same a few minutes later and plunged the government into the dreaded catastrophe: 270 votes for, 265 votes against, the immigration bill was rejected out of hand by the National Assembly.
A clap of thunder greeted by intense cries of joy, on the left and right. Among the Macronists, we come out of the hemicycle stunned and we aim for this “funny marriage” between the different oppositions: “Our credibility, our responsibility, is to debate, not to make political moves”, scolds the MoDem deputy Erwan Balanant. Charles Sitzenstuhl, Renaissance deputy, also says it “but there is a principle of reality, the balances of the text do not pass to the National Assembly. We have known it from the beginning, it is a cursed text, poorly handled. We must move on, this text has been weighing down the five-year term for a year. »
A failure that comes from afar
Certainly, the bill fell on an alliance of carp and rabbit, but the oppositions did not vote on a coalition government program between the ex-Nupes, LR and the RN. The failure is that of the government’s method in a minority context. Elisabeth Borne and Emmanuel Macron repeat quite often that numerous texts have been adopted since the 2022 legislative elections, which is true. But these victories, on often minor texts, almost exclusively thanks to the LR, have lulled them with illusions. When the government puts forward projects that it considers balanced, like here on immigration or earlier on pensions, it is failure.
The vote of this Monday, December 11, very much resembles the disappearance of the mirage of the “at the same time” Macronist. Mirage, because the “at the same time” is a long-dead star. What happened today could have just as easily happened on March 20, during the vote on the motion of censure, but the coin fell on the other side, this time by nine votes. . This could also have happened on March 16, if the government had gone to the vote on the pension reform, but it was greatly helped by 49.3, again.
Retirement yesterday, immigration today, the contexts are strangely similar. There is first the choice of placing emphasis on the most abrasive bills, considered not necessary by specialists (for pensions) or not a priority in the concerns of the French according to polls (for immigration). There is an overconfident majority after a relatively easy passage through the Senate.
There is finally a dramatization of the issues as the ground slips away from under the feet of the Macronists. This is what happened, among others, to Gérald Darmanin in recent days by very hard targeting the LR, and in particular the boss of their group, Olivier Marleix: “He is not against the text, but in a personal obsession against me,” he said in The Parisian. The Minister of the Interior has done nothing other than shoot himself in the foot.
By overdramatizing possible defeats, the government would run the risk of finding itself in a dramatic situation. It’s there now. Gérald Darmanin did not deny the failure in the 20 hours from TF1 this Monday evening. Now, the executive only seems to have bad options on its desk: Negotiate with LR in the Senate? This is the fracturing of the majority in the Assembly assured. Pure and simple withdrawal? A definitive weakening of the government, at least of one of its key men, Gérald Darmanin. Some have even spoken of a dissolution, but who really thinks that the Macronist bloc could emerge victorious from a short campaign launched on the theme of immigration?
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