New Polls Indicate Yet Another New Race

6 December 2021

As I predicted in my previous post, Valérie Pécresse has obtained a significant “post-convention bounce,” while Éric Zemmour has slumped. A new IFOP poll has Macron at 25% and Pécresse even with Le Pen at 17, while Zemmour has fallen to 13 and Mélenchon to 9. Jadot is at 6 and Hidalgo at 5.

In the second round, IFOP has Macron beating Pécresse by only 52 to 48, compared with 56 to 44 against Le Pen and 63 to 37 against Zemmour. Left-wing voters are much more likely to vote for Macron in the second round if either Le Pen or Zemmour is his opponent; Pécresse, despite having a platform a far to the right as Fillon’s in 2017, is much more palatable to voters who identify as left-wing.

Harris Interactive has Macron at 23 and Le Pen at 18, with Zemmour and Pécresse both at 14.

All the usual caveats apply. I don’t much like horse-race reporting, but every once in a while one has to pause to look at the polls, and Pécresse’s victory in the LR primary clearly marks a turning point in the race, clarifying the options sufficiently to allow a first assessment of how the electorate looks as the campaign begins in earnest.

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  • FrédéricLN says:

    “but every once in a while one has to pause to look at the polls, and Pécresse’s victory in the LR primary clearly marks a turning point in the race, clarifying the options sufficiently to allow a first assessment of how the electorate looks as the campaign begins in earnest.”

    Yes, absolutely. Asking potential voters (i.e. access panels members) about “the LR candidate” had no large meaning as long as all potential candidates were people not so well known by the general public (including access panel members). Is it likely that more than 10% of access panels members have a definite opinion about Ciotti, Barnier, Bertrand and Pécresse? I don’t think so.

    Now they are asked about a) a woman, b) who actually was nominated by the party most municipalities, “départements”, regions voted, i.e. LR. So that is a both conservative and progressive choice.

    (Disclaimer : Valérie Pécresse is a former colleague at college (“classes prépas”), even if I do not at all remember about her at that time 🙂 ).

  • Quite Likely says:

    What a nightmare. How does right-winger after right-winger pop up to be serious contenders while the left is consistently nowhere?

  • bernard says:

    There is a degree of clarification obviously. We now know which conservative will be running against conservative Macron. So, equally obviously, that conservative, namely Pécresse, deserves a good bump in the polls. She is running in the first round against two far right conservatives, Marine Le Pen who topped in 2017 and will not fare very well in this election and Eric Zemmour who might better be described as a fascist and who will to a certain extent self-destruct but will still steal from Le Pen the racist and anti-Semitic vote. This is why Pécresse stands a good chance to go to the second round. However, the fact is that the general electorate has not looked at her program at all for now just as it had not looked yet at Fillon’s program at the time he won the primaries 5 years ago. People started looking at the programs after the primaries and they did not like much what they saw. Few commentators remember that Fillon started sliding in the polls long before (ie in November and December) his personal issues became known. Of course once his issues were revealed, the slide turned into an avalanche.
    The problem here is that Pécresse is apparently keen on picking up the Fillon program for government: public debt is bad, we will all die from it, there are way too many civil servants, we must cut hundreds of thousand. What will happen in the public debate is that some will remark that with interest rates at zero, public debt is not that expensive and we will likely survive it for a while still. Furthermore, with the public sector valued at a bit over half of GDP, one might guess that a great many French families depend on continued public employment and will be hoping that Pécresse’s valiant shrinking of public employment obeys the time honored principle of not-in-my-backyard, but will be fearing that it affects them, precisely. I wish her good luck maintaining or expanding public support in a second round with this kind of program.
    Chirac knew how to get elected and knew that promises only bind those on the receiving end. Thus he knew that it was best to make enjoyable promises. Does Pécresse know that? The jury is still out.
    Anyway, for now we can probably rely on a run between Macron and Pécresse, which is not that much of a choice. This is obviously because the left is incapable of uniting behind a candidate for now on the grounds that they have differences. This is amusing from a historical viewpoint: do these idiots think that their differences are smaller of greater than the differences in the left when the “union de la gauche” program was devised. One hint to the answer: Georges Marchais was a Komintern operative as early as 1939 (by 1944 he was a member of the protective squad of party leader Maurice Thorez) while President Mitterrand would deliver the greatest espionage coup to the CIA with the Farewell network, and they both knew exactly where the other stood.

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