Manuel Valls uses fear as a passkey to convince French people not to reconfirm their trust in the National Front in the second round on Sunday. Marine Le Pen’s party has been the most voted for in the first round of the regional elections, and Socialists have raised the level of political debate during these last days. According to the Socialist Party, a victory of the right, which would lead Le Pen to the Elysium in 2017, would have dramatic consequences for the country. It could even lead, the prime minister explains, to “civil war”. “There are two visions of our country – he notes – one is the vision of the far-right, which in essence, promotes division. This division might lead to civil war. The other vision is that of the Republic of values”.
But two days before the vote, the situation is not clear yet. Over a few hours, the wind has changed: from the National Front’s triumph in the first round to the rehabilitating strategy after the gaffe in the ballot, which seems to pay off. In the bosom of the Républicains’ right, the showdown has been put off and the risk of laceration between the far- and the center-right. Surveys are unanimous in attributing to Sarkozy’s three representatives the same number of victories in the northern, southern, and eastern regions and where Marine Le Pen, the president of the National Front was far ahead, her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen and the strategist of the new route of Le Pen’s party, Florian Philippot. But those victories have been orchestrated by the Socialist Party and endorsed by candidates who, in the name of an anti-FN dam, had to withdraw, making thus their preferences pour into the constituency of the Républicains who are still in the running.
In Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne-Ardenne, the rebellion of the Socialist Jean-Pierre Masseret has been irrelevant. Despite his running in the election against team orders, he has not created any problems: Philippot would not make it against the candidate of the center-right, Philippe Richert. Seeing the defeat for herself, Marine Le Pen has snarled against the gaffe and against the man who had led the crusade against her, the Prime Minister Manuel Valls: “I will ruin the government’s life – she said – every minute, every day, they will hear about me”. As the head of a region, the president would not have the power to undermine the government. Her butt, therefore, is the “jungle” of migrants in Calais: “Who is going to solve this situation? – she thundered – I won’t grant the government a minute of peace”.
The left, especially Socialists, look beyond the three regions “offered” as a gift to the Républicains. Socialists, in an unexpected recovery, expect to win in five or six regions. In the ruling party they believe to have triggered – with the logic of the successful dam against the National Front – a virtuous dynamic. It will allow to elect socialist presidents in several challenges between three candidates. Polls say it is possible, for the ruling party it would be a double victory. There is a bit of fear in Ile de France because of Claude Bartolone’s slip of the tongue, President of the National Assembly who – speaking in an interview as if it were the most fiery rally – has insulted his right-wing rival, Valerie Pécresse, describing her as a crusader of “Versailles, Neuilly (a luxury residential area) and of the white race.” This last reference has costed Bartolone the opponent’s criminal complaint for ” aggravated insults”. And an unanimous condemnation for pronouncing words that laws coming out of his parliamentary chamber have been banned even from school manuals.