Since the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy, it has not ceased to be in the countryside. In may 2012, at the end of his stay of five years at Matignon, French prime minister François Fillon enjoys a popularity rating of outstanding. For the majority of the parliamentary UMP, Fillon is the anti-Sarkozy : the incarnation of a right wing provincial, discreet and well educated. This is why it is believed to be able to impose itself without difficulty as the successor to president fought. At the time, nor Juppé, or even The Mayor were in a position to block the road.
This was without counting on Jean-François Copé, well decided, also, to be the new boss of the right. You know the rest. The deputy and mayor of Meaux, who was the then secretary general of the UMP, has done everything to prevent the election of the Sarthois to the presidency of the UMP. The day of the vote, thanks to an industrial collection of proxies, it manages to make the game equal with Fillon and proclaims himself the winner. The UMP was on the brink of secession. The union could not survive at the price of a consensus on the organisation of an open primary to nominate the candidate of the right and centre in 2017.
The first debate, on the 13th of October on TF1, the fillonistes waited with as much hope as fear. It was double or nothing. Now or never is finally out of the rut sondagière where fretted over a year since the former Prime minister. And miracle : desperately blocked between 10 % and 13 %, the voting intentions have begun to make progress, at the expense of Alain Juppé, and Bruno Le Maire. A relief for him. Because he lived as a humiliation, this fourth place, which seemed to be promised.
Until the summer of 2013, when he was the only candidate declared for the primary, the deputy of Paris had almost repaired the damage caused by the war of the trenches against Copé. But on the 12th of September, at the end of an interview on Europe 1, he is caught by the journalists who questioned him on his attitude in the event of a second round between the PS and the FN in the municipal elections. While so far it was without ambiguity, Fillon recommends that “vote for the less sectarian”. The trap closes when he concedes that the least sectarian may be, if necessary, the candidate of the FN. Coming from one who claimed to precisely distinguish himself from Sarkozy by his refusal of any compromise with the FN, this volte-face was incomprehensible. He will pay cash, by a sharp drop in his popularity ratings.
The replica that kills
“There is nothing to talk about authority when it is not itself beyond reproach. Who imagines De Gaulle indicted ?” August 28, François Fillon slip this question in his speech of reentry pronounced in Sablé-sur-Sarthe. On his side, his friend Gérard Larcher, president of the Senate, gag a little. A few fillonistes désapprouveront discreetly this attack on Sarkozy, indicted in two cases. But no man withdrew his support.
“I’m the head of a bankrupt State.” With this sentence, pronounced in early 2007, Fillon had attracted severe criticism of Sarkozy. Nearly ten years after he made his claim to fame. The illustration of her ability to be “courage” saying “the truth”. In his speech, he multiplies the formulas to emphasize the difference with Sarkozy : “the idea that I’m gaullism, I distinguish a requirement of honesty, uprightness.” It is not these politicians who “take themselves for stars, for stars, when they should just be men engaged”.
Yet very close to his former Prime minister, Valérie Pécresse has chosen, in extremis, to support Alain Juppé. It is explained by saying that he had, according to her, the mayor of Bordeaux is the strongest possible in the first round.
Against all odds, the founder of the Right popular, Thierry Mariani, has not elected Sarkozy. A great news for its former Prime minister, who was in great need of reinforcement to the right wing.
His Achilles heel
Because he has only contempt for what he calls “political communication”, he neglects the figures required to the policy and is not afraid of getting hurt to see journalists. More serious still : it “treats” not the elected officials and party officials, in the manner of a Sarkozy that scrolls to his table, and fill in with promises of those he wants to ensure the support.