Today is April 13, 2022. And we are 11 days away from the second round of the French Presidential elections (Listen here).
And today, I want to continue to talk about the voters who chose the Left Wing candidate Melenchon. Indeed, it’s crucial to explore the logic of the Melenchon voters, the logic behind their choices. One of the biggest surprises that pollsters noticed since the results of the votes were revealed is that 30% of Melenchon voters are ready to vote in favor of Marine Le Pen. That’s despite Melenchon’s call to not cast a single vote in her favor. It’s worth talking about the logic and psychology behind that choice.
Once again, let me remind you that the Left Wing candidate Melenchon reached 22% of the votes on Sunday, very close to the second spot. Far behind him come the candidates that were expected to have much higher results. The order and ranking of these candidates is not a surprise. Every pollster were seeing Zemmour, Pécresse, Hidalgo, Jadot behind, but not so far behind. Zemmour, the other far right candidate came in fourth with 7%, Pécresse the right wing candidate, gathered less than 5% and Jadot, the ecologist gathered also less than 5%.
So, as I said previously, this is placing Mélenchon in a role that he may not have expected himself. His voters now look like they are the ones who will tilt the balance on one side or the other. As a result, when pollsters discovered that 30% of these voters are ready to vote for Le Pen, it left everyone perplexed. We are talking here about voters from the Left or Far Left, ready to vote for a Far right candidate. That alone deserves further examination. For those of you who are from the US, it would be as if Bernie Sanders’ or AOC’s or Elizabeth Warren’s voters had voted for Trump…
You have to realize that many of Melenchon’s voters are among those who took part to the yellow vests movement, prior to the COVID crisis. Their opposition to Macron is literally visceral, so visceral, that they would rather put Marine Le Pen at the Presidential palace at the Élysée rather than Emmanuel Macron.
But there is even another layer of motivation behind that decision. Indeed, according to some interviews and discussions, the vote for Le Pen, would indeed put her at the Elysee Palace. However, should the Mélenchon movement win the general elections in June and control a large segment of the National Assembly, then the next government from June would be made of ministers directly coming from the left wing La France Insoumise, with a Prime Minister who may even be Mélenchon himself, or a personality within his closest circle. By doing so, La France Insoumise would then be able to block any initiative undertaken by Le Pen.
Such a scenario is not that far-fetched. Indeed, the nature of the executive power in France and the constitution allow such configuration at the executive level. It has already happened in the past. France already saw many periods of “cohabitation”, with Left Wing President François and Right Wing Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, and then with Right Wing President Jacques Chirac and Left Wing Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. Such situations reduce the president to a purely representative and honorific role.
This may be what Melenchon and his movement are looking for. If that’s the case, then it could also pave the way for his project which is to reform the constitution by installing a 6th republic.
I’ll get back to you with more details in the coming days.
Let me know if you have questions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment.