“In December we gave her a Rolls and she gives us back a Lada”, plague a Republican leader the day after the first round of the presidential election marked by the ousting of Valérie Pécresse. This member of the right wing of the party thus regards this historic defeat as historic “is 90% his fault”. In the corridors of the Republican headquarters, Rue de Vaugirard, the atmosphere is somber after the Republican right-wing candidate received 4.78%, a score that means the party will not be fully reimbursed. Therefore, when Valérie Pécresse arrived at her headquarters on Monday April 11, she started a “Appeal for Funds” : “I urgently need your help. (…) The survival of the Republicans depends on it.”
Behind the scenes, everyone is trying to pin someone responsible for this election defeat. “It is the defeat of those who have held a line that has taken us into the Wall for too long. Common sense, Fillon, Wauquiez and the rest of the orchestra…” regret a member of the Politburo. “This is the calendar from [Christian] Jacob who set us up. In 2016, the guys were candidates for 2-3 years, they had time to build their candidacy. There was Juppeism, Sarkozyism, Fillonism. There is no pécressisme! comments on another frame from LR.
“You can’t make a president in five months, that’s not possible!”A member of the Republican Politburo
Shortly after 10 a.m., about twenty party executives met for a strategic council to discuss the situation. In an atmosphere “Finally Soothed”according to one LR MP, they talked about the party’s survival but didn’t really analyze the reasons for the defeat, much to the regret of some leaders. “There is no need to go back this morning to last night’s result: we will learn all the lessons, but in due course.”said Laurent Wauquiez, who delivered a message of unity at a time when his party was threatened with implosion.
“We have to rebuild everything, rethink everything … But for that we have to survive this terrible failure. And that means staying united.”Laurent Wauquiez
during the Strategic Council of LR
Then it was a question of setting for the second round. Immediately after the results were announced, Valérie Pécresse declared her vote “deliberately” for Emmanuel Macron against Marine Le Pen. Without calling for a vote for the outgoing president, she nevertheless asked her constituents “to seriously consider the potentially catastrophic consequences in the coming days” a power grab by the right-wing extremist candidate. An instruction followed by several tenors such as Xavier Bertrand but not by Eric Ciotti. “I will not issue voting instructions. (…) Personally, I will not vote for Emmanuel Macron.”said further TF1 the defeated finalist of the LR Congress.
For his part, during the Republican Strategic Council, Laurent Wauquiez defended a simple position: “No one is asking Marine Le Pen to vote and all positions must be respected.” This is intended for the President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region “so as not to weaken our candidates” in terms of legislation and “Don’t play the auxiliaries” of the two finalists in the race for the Elysée. “Because otherwise we no longer have a right to exist.” According to the participants of the meeting, the position of the one who led the party in 2017-2019 was then approved by a majority of the Presidium members present. And the president of the party supported this strategy.
“No vote can be given to Marine Le Pen. Republicans are not interchangeable in either Lepenism or Macronism.”Christian Jacob
at the end of the Republican political office
The Republican leader made it clear that he would personally vote for Emmanuel Macron. About 130 people took part in the political bureau vote and only 13 members abstained (notably Eric Ciotti, Gilles Platret, Alain Joyandet and Michèle Alliot-Marie). Guillaume Larrivé, he voted against. “I will not vote for any motion that does not specifically call for a vote for Emmanuel Macron on April 24”Yonne’s deputy justifies.
“Everything went well, apart from Guillaume Larrivé, who distinguished himself by saying that an alliance with Macron had to be made by defending Sarkozy’s strategy.”, comments MP Julien Aubert, who has already announced that he will not vote for Emmanuel Macron. Another LR executive present at the political office who abstained does not have the same reading: “We have transformed into the Socialist Party, we don’t decide anything, it’s a smooth synthesis… I would have liked us to be clearer about our opposition to the National Assembly. We were still very happy about Republican Front in 2002.”
“There are two lines that are starting to become really incompatible.”A member of LR’s Politburo
Gil Averous, chairman of LR’s Mayoral Committee, who is calling Emmanuel Macron to vote, also abstained and announced Christian Jacob’s resignation from his duties at LR. “For me, the question of an exit arises. I am very sad for my political family.”adds a LR pendant of the dam that is on the far right.
“Everyone is paralyzed and nobody dares to say anything. They look like cattle keeping warm on their way to the slaughterhouse, saying to themselves, ‘As long as we stay warm, we’ll be fine’.”A Republican Executive
Supporters of a clear line against the RN now turn their eyes to Nicolas Sarkozy. Corresponding Point, the former President recently had lunch with Bruno Le Maire to consider the collection of some of the LR MPs for the future Presidential majority. Nicolas Sarkozy, whose silence has plagued Valérie Pécresse’s campaign, has planned to have lunch with elected officials from Hauts-de-Seine on Tuesday and is expected to speak about the second round later in the week, according to several of the former president’s relatives.
Behind the current strategies, all LR executives have their eye on the general elections on June 12th and 19th. The right-wing party hopes to retain its 100 seats in the National Assembly. “It will be difficult, especially for new candidatespredicts Julien Aubert. And I think after the general election, depending on who survives, there will be a reshuffle. Either we find a synthetic personality capable of embodying balance, or we risk being split in two.