An Uncertain Electorate

22 October 2021

Ipsos, CEVIPOF, the Fondation Jean Jaurès, and Le Monde have combined to produce the clearest snapshot to date of the state of the French electorate in advance of the 2022 presidential election. The results are unambiguous: no matter which center-right candidate is eventually chosen by Les Républicains (Bertrand, Pécresse, or Barnier), both potential candidates of the extreme right, Le Pen and Zemmour, will eclipse the LR standard-bearer in the first round by a statistically significant margin.

Although there are no polling data given for the second round, it seems likely that, given the substantial disapproval of both Zemmour and Le Pen, Macron would defeat either of them and will easily be re-elected.

Of the several potential LR candidates, Bertrand does significantly better than his rivals but still not well enough to defeat the hard-right candidates.

As for the left, Jadot appears to be somewhat stronger than Mélenchon at this point, but he does not rise even to 10 percent in any of the cases examined. Anne Hidalgo has lost ground since announcing her candidacy and has sunk to the 5 percent level, even more dismal than Benoît Hamon’s showing in the last election. Because a performance at this level might lead to the extinction of the Parti Socialiste, some commentators have been speculating that the party (but who is the party?) might try to replace her. François Hollande, who has just published a book with a detailed party program, may even be proposing himself as an alternative.

In short, there is not much news here, merely confirmation that Zemmour has taken the wind out of Le Pen’s sails by offering a re-demonized far right, including resurrection of the ties to Vichy, to those who want it—and there appear to be many who do. As for Macron, he may not have won the love of the French, but he has retained enough support to win against this unprecedentedly fragmented field, because There Is No Alternative (and not much prospect of seeing one emerge). For details and numbers, see the Le Monde article at the link.

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1 Comment

  • bernard says:

    While this poll is technically superior to just about every other (others have insane confidence intervals at the candidate level) by virtue of looking at a very large sample, it still is very unreliable this far from the election as a predictive instrument. A very simple proof of this, on top of course of past history, is that the number one preoccupation of the French is nowadays their income, whereas most conservative candidates as well as those from the extreme right are presently only discussing so-called immigrants. They are so-called because I recently heard for example one conservative discussing immigrants of the fourth (!) generation, which in legal terms means French citizens for three generations… Clearly, the war in Algeria is still with these conservatives, not just with Zemmour.
    As for me, I strongly suspect that the election will be won on economics in the end and that current racist discussions will turn out to be distractions. There is a serious possibility that Barnier, the former European Brexit czar, will be selected by the conservative LR party and if this is the case we will have a more dignified election with Macron eventually winning and extreme right candidates being sheer distractions.

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