September 19, 2021

Emmanuel Macron is wary of Xavier Bertrand

“Xavier Bertrand has an anti-Macron obsession”, rebelled the delegate general of La République en Marche (LRM), Stanislas Guerini, on May 17, in an interview with World. The sentence can also be read in reverse. For several weeks, Emmanuel Macron and his followers have erected the president (formerly Les Républicains, LR) of Hauts-de-France as their main target, along with the president of the National Rally (RN), Marine Le Pen.

Officially, the faithful of the Head of State swear hand on their hearts not to fear the former Minister of Labor of Nicolas Sarkozy, so as not to give credit to his candidacy for the presidential election of 2022. To hear them, all their energy would be deployed to block the representative of the far right. And on her own.

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But, in a small committee, the entourage of the tenant of the Elysée acknowledges taking very seriously the threat represented by someone who claims to be a “Social Gaullist”. “Xavier Bertrand is dynamic thanks to his positioning and his notoriety. It stands out clearly on the right “, judge a faithful from the first hour of the Head of State, convinced that the former deputy of the Aisne “Killed the match” with its LR competitors.

Several macronists share this analysis, assuming that the presidential election will be played out in “A three-way match”. Their projection is based above all on polls, which for several months have presented Mr. Bertrand as the best placed on the right to come and shake up the duel announced between Le Pen and M. Macron in 2022. If he remains largely behind one (from 27% to 30%) and the other (from 25% to 28%), the president of Hauts-de-France is credited 15% in the first round, far ahead of Valérie Pécresse (10%) or Laurent Wauquiez (8%), according to an IFOP-Fiducial survey carried out online from May 18 to 20 with a sample of 1,363 people registered on the lists election.

Wind of worry

In this study, one result sowed a wind of concern within the majority: in the event of a second round against Marine Le Pen, Mr. Bertrand would appear to be a more effective barrier than Mr. Macron. The first would obtain 60% against 40% for the president of the RN, while the second would win less widely (54% against 46%). What to accredit a “Bertrand effect”, in the words of someone close to the head of state, and justify the launch of an offensive by the macronists against him.

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