Liberal centrist President Emmanuel Macron, re-elected on April 24 for a second five-year term, assured a week ago in Berlin that he already knew the name of his next Prime Minister… without revealing his identity, nearly one month of the legislative elections of June 12 and 19.
The only clues given by the Head of State, who receives European Council President Charles Michel for lunch on Monday, his new Prime Minister will have a “social”, “ecological” and “productive” profile.
During his first term, Emmanuel Macron surprised observers by appointing Edouard Philippe and then Jean Castex to Matignon, two elected officials with no government experience.
Jean Castex, who had proclaimed himself “Prime Minister of Intendancy”, multiplied trips across France – 350 in 22 months – imprinting the image of a head of government “of the territories”, concerned about promoting the implementation of reforms, even if it means going completely under the national radar.
Rumors about his succession are rife. Only certainty, believes to know his entourage: it will be a woman. Especially since 74% of French people are for it, according to an Ifop poll published in the weekly Le Journal du dimanche.
After those of the Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne and the former Minister of Health Marisol Touraine, the name that comes up insistently is that of Catherine Vautrin, former Minister of Social Cohesion of the right-wing President Jacques Chirac (2005-2007 ), which had supported Emmanuel Macron before the first round of the presidential election.
– “Macho” political class –
“She has a lot of experience and works hard on her files, she has both moderate and very solid convictions, she loves people and has a deeply humanist background: three character traits that are not so often found in policy”, pleads a local elected official close to Catherine Vautrin, who heads the urban community of Grand Reims (north-east).
Problem: this former member of the right-wing LR party, who campaigned against same-sex marriage in 2012 and 2013, bristles within the left wing of the majority.
If a woman were to be appointed, Edith Cresson, the only one to have held the post (1991-1992), under the presidency of the socialist François Mitterand, wishes her “a lot of courage” within a “macho” political class.
The choice is all the more expected as it will confirm or not the direction that the Head of State intends to take, who has promised to take into account the anger expressed by many French people during the “vests” crisis. yellow”, revealed against the fiscal and social policy of Emmanuel Macron, and during the presidential election, and to change the method.
“The composition of the new government, the identity of the great ministers, the identity of the Prime Minister can have a very strong importance on the legislative elections”, underlined Sunday evening on LCI the pollster Frédéric Dabi, of Ifop .
He recalls that “the appointment of Edouard Philippe in 2017 had allowed the presidential majority to break the right into several pieces”.
But, he notes, “the impatience of the French” focuses above all “on questions of inflation, purchasing power, environment and security” which will have to be answered in an anxiety-provoking context of crisis. of the Covid and of the war in Ukraine which favor soaring energy and food prices.
For the time being, the presidential bloc is credited with some 26% of voting intentions in the legislative elections and would retain a majority in the Assembly, challenged however by the union of the socialist, ecologist, communist and radical left, around Jean -Luc Mélenchon (come third in the first round of the presidential election), who would get 28% and the far right of Marine Le Pen, unfortunate finalist in the second round against Emmanuel Macron (24%).