Monday, January 2, 2017

Primary of the left : the 4 keys to a blitz – Obs

They have the chance ! None of the candidates in the primary of the left is not really a favorite. This will suffer the same fate as Cécile Duflot, Nicolas Sarkozy and Alain Juppé, condemned to watch the presidential spectators after having been curtly disposed of.

Four people can lay claim to leading roles : Benoît Hamon, Arnaud Montebourg, Vincent Peillon and Manuel Valls. But the sprint that is committed to win the election on 22nd and 29th January, promises to be particularly uncertain.

don’t have to look to the polls. There is not. The latest (Harris Interactive for France Télévisions) dates back to 8 December, that is to say, before Vincent Peillon does not leave the wood, which should lead one to read with caution. Moreover, this survey does not produce a clear trend, placing Arnaud Montebourg and Manuel Valls at a near-draw in the second round.

The unknown of the mobilization

What can we observe today, less than three weeks of the first round ? First, that as in a primary from the right, much will depend on participation.

How many French will go to vote in the primary of the “Beautiful people’s alliance” ? Surely not $ 4.4 million, as for the face-to-face meeting between François Fillon and Alain Juppé in November. The primary of the right had received a full prognosis, according to which the winner would win then the presidential election.

The organizers of the primary of the left rely on less than half the voters. A little less than the 2.9 million people who had the tie, François Hollande and Martine Aubry in 2011.

“nothing Is known about the participation,” says Emmanuel Rivière director France Kantar TNS-Sofres :

“It is more complicated for the left because the political context is not favourable, and because neither Emmanuel Macron, or Jean-Luc Mélenchon does not participate in the primary of the Beautiful people’s alliance.”

Each of the nominees shall endeavour to seduce beyond the supporters of the PS, in speaking to the voters, the centrists (Manuel Valls) or more left (for Arnaud Montebourg and Benoît Hamon). Will they succeed ? For the moment, all the same, four in ten French say they are interested in the socialist primaries, according to an Ifop poll, published last week. “The French are increasingly disgusted by the bid policy, and at the same time they have an urge policy”, stresses Emmanuel Rivière. “We will see if the desire to participate comes at the time of the debates.”

The “show” of debates tv

“If it is so difficult to make a prognosis, it is because a lot of things are going to play during the debates,” sums up Emmanuel Rivière. The televised debates are crucial, and this is even more true for the primary from the left. On the one hand, because most of the candidates are virtually unknown to the public. And on the other hand, because the campaign is very short. Manuel Valls and Arnaud Montebourg have the advantage of having already participated in the exercise, during the primary of 2011. But will there be François de Rugy, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, or Sylvia Pinel out of the lot ?

“The television debates have become a kind of spectacle,” says François Jost, a professor of information sciences and communication at the Sorbonne university and columnist on The Most, “François Fillon has complained to David Pujadas.” The staging, the brevity of the responses, the fact that it shows the reactions of competitors and they can engage… it is far, very far from the following monologue of the “debate” of 2006 between Royal, Fabius and Strauss-Kahn ! But the candidates would be wrong to show too aggressive. “I have the feeling that the media are late. The French are sick and tired of the infotainment. They want to get serious,” says François Jost, author of “For an ethics of the media” (Editions de l’aube, September 2016).

Jerome Fourquet, it qualifies for its share of the weight of the exercise. “The debates in tv have played a vital role in the primary from the right, but on a limited portion of the population. TF1, this is more than 20% of audience share. In a media landscape atomized, it is necessary to use other means, such as the social networks that can reach audiences of young people, little interested in politics, who did not watch the news.” In this regard, Arnaud Montebourg and Benoît Hamon, who began an active campaign in the month of August, have scored points.

The French will respond to the question asked ?

another factor of uncertainty in this primary from the left, is the criterion that determines the choice of the voters. “It’s unclear what is the question the French would answer,” notes Emmanuel Rivière.

“It is not clear that voters will choose the next president of the Republic.”

“In 2011, we sought the best candidate to beat Nicolas Sarkozy. But to us today?” asks the political scientist. “The people of the left will seek the best candidate to qualify for the second round ? But beat for beat, in either the first or the second round, it is not sure that this is of interest to many, even to prevent the qualification of Marine Le Pen.” Emmanuel Riviere continues :

“The voters want-they choose who will lead the left in opposition, and who have the difficult task of redefining what is left today ? It is a very complicated matter, especially as the French no longer really believe in social progress.”

A response out-of-primary ?

So, who can incarnate the chances of victory ? And who can claim to rebuild a left in a shambles ? If it has a legitimacy and experience as a statesman, Manuel Valls is the accountant of the policy conduct during the current quinquennium. Especially, “it is perceived as more to the right than the center of gravity of the PS,” said Emmanuel Rivière.

“Some may choose to support Emmanuel Macron instead of Manuel Valls.”

In fact, the voters of the left are tempted to seek an answer outside of the primary. Emmanuel Macron, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon have two bids competing policies that are not yet clearly identified – the PS. Emmanuel Macron tries to respond to the crisis of political representation, outside of the traditional parties.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon may be seduced by the consistency of its positions, according to Emmanuel Rivière : “One of the keys to reading, is that the people are satisfied with a lot less posturing, positing ambiguous.” But, he concludes, “Emmanuel Macron, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon should still be wary, it is not excluded that the winner of the primary is driven by a dynamic that would relegate their applications to the second level.”

Baptiste Legrand


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