The candidates crisscrossed their constituencies all weekend, starting with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, campaigning in the 6th district of Calvados, where one of her predecessors at Matignon, Edouard Philippe, came to support her on Saturday.
Even more than in the presidential election, abstention, expected at a record level for a first round of legislative elections (52 or 53% according to the polls against 51.3% in 2017), should play a key role in the ballot of the 12 and June 19.
“There is not really a campaign”, it is still “a non-object” for the French, said the pollster Brice Teinturier (Ipsos) Thursday on France inter.
The abstention of young people and the working classes could benefit the current majority, which relies on an older and more affluent electorate than that of the RN or the left alliance (Nupes), believe specialists.
According to an Ifop poll on Tuesday, the presidential majority (Together!) would come first in number of seats at the end of the second round (275-310 seats), but without certainty of obtaining an absolute majority of 289 deputies.
It would be ahead of the Nupes alliance (LFI, EELV, PS, PC) around Jean-Luc Mélenchon which could reach between 170 and 205 seats, ahead of LR (35 to 55 deputies) and the RN (20 to 50 seats).
“Our chances of winning are quite high”, launched Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Wednesday evening in Paris to galvanize his troops, indignant at the “climate inaction” of the government or the “rise of poverty” in the country.
On the far right, Marine Le Pen, candidate in Pas-de-Calais, was initially very discreet in this campaign despite her 41.5% presidential vote. She ended up raising the ambition of the RN, traditionally penalized by the voting method in the legislative elections, going from a target of 60 elected officials to the “ability to win 150 constituencies”.
The president of his party Jordan Bardella also called on “the patriots” to “not disperse their voices”, in the midst of a fratricidal war with the camp of Eric Zemmour (Reconquest), candidate in the Var.
On the macronist side, 15 ministers, including Ms. Borne, are candidates and play their position, according to the tacit rule which requires a member of the government to give up his morocco in the event of electoral defeat.
The Secretary of State responsible for the sea Justine Benin (MoDem) has a very difficult game to lead in Guadeloupe. And in the 7th district of Paris, Clément Beaune, Minister in charge of Europe, is under threat from the rebellious Caroline Mécary, whom a poll (Ifop-Fiducial for the JDD) gives potentially winning by a hair, but within the margin of error.
The score of the Minister of Solidarity and ex-LR Damien Abad will also be closely scrutinized in Ain, after the accusations of rape which he disputes.
This controversy, followed by that of the fiasco around the Champions League final at the Stade de France, parasitized the Macronists’ campaign.
“There is always a fake dish after the presidential election, and people had not yet entered the campaign”, relativizes the leader of the LREM deputies Christophe Castaner in the JDD, castigating the Nupes program, “all clichés of the Soviet world” according to him.
Emmanuel Macron ended up committing to two trips on Tuesday and Thursday and an interview in the regional press on Friday evening, to call on the French to choose a “stable and serious majority” in the face of “Jean-Luc’s project of disorder and submission Mélenchon or Madame Le Pen”.
With the war in Ukraine and inflation, purchasing power is still at the heart of the debates, the government announcing a bill the day after the legislative elections.
From this weekend, Polynesia and the French residing abroad went to the polls for the first round, with results expected on Sunday or Monday.
And special attention for the 5th constituency abroad (Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Monaco) where the former Prime Minister Manuel Valls presents himself under the colors of the presidential majority.