“He has readers but he has never seen voters” … The possible Zemmour candidacy embarrasses the RN (and the right)

Eric Zemmour and the former RN Jean Messiha at the police demonstration in Paris. – SEVGI / SIPA

  • “Maybe we must take action,” assured Eric Zemmour Sunday, on a possible presidential candidacy in 2022.
  • The polemicist close to Marion Maréchal could weaken the candidacy of Marine Le Pen.
  • On the right, some are pushing for the journalist from Figaro can participate in a possible primary to nominate their candidate.

“Maybe we have to take action”. Eric Zemmour gave a little more credit to a presidential candidacy of 2022. “I am making more and more proposals, I am thinking more and more about how to implement what I say,” said Sunday the polemicist writer in an interview
to the “Black Book” media. For several months, the editorial writer of Figaro maintains doubt, multiplies meetings to structure a possible campaign, and extends its influence on social networks. “I think about the next step, the possible measures that we could take based on my diagnosis,” he says.

Eric Zemmour’s presidential ambition, including audience peaks on Cnews regularly approach one million viewers, could not but cause trouble to the National Rally, but also to the right.

Zemmour, the “Taubira of the national camp”

“He is a talented historian and columnist, who shares a lot of analysis with us. But I do not see him engage his responsibility in a division of the national camp, to which he belongs, wants to believe Gilles Pennelle, member of the national office and head of the list RN to the regional ones in Brittany. “His candidacy is not desirable and would serve Mr. Macron. He is brilliant enough to do this analysis, ”he breathes. The argument is the same as that held by Marine Le Pen, Sunday, on LCI. “What is the interest of this candidacy? Objectively, it is a candidacy that can help Emmanuel Macron to come out on top in the presidential election, which the polls do not [promettent] not for the moment, ”rebuked the RN presidential candidate.

Eric Zemmour has only been tested once in opinion polls for 2022. In an Ifop survey for Current Values last February, 13% of French people said they were “ready to vote” for the polemicist in the next presidential election. Figures to be taken with a grain of salt, because it was not a question of voting intentions, and only 4% of those questioned said they were “certain” of this choice.

But the polemicist, close to Marion Maréchal, could nevertheless grab valuable votes from Marine Le Pen. Some party officials advise him not to become the “Taubira of the national camp”, in reference to the presidential candidacy of the former Minister of Justice in 2002, which weakened the candidacy of Lionel Jospin, eliminated in the first round of the ballot.

“What is his political program? Civil war ? “

“He knows France well, its history, its culture, but for a presidential election, you have to know the French. Eric Zemmour has a lot of readers, but he’s never seen voters. He is an intelligent person, he should realize that he is not political, but a journalist, you have to fight in his category, ”says RN MEP Philippe Olivier, who tries to be positive.

“A president must unite people. He has a very critical view of Islam in particular. What is his political program? Civil war ? His candidacy could take us a few votes but it would refocus us. He sometimes has such harsh words that we could appear to be moderates, ”quips Marine Le Pen’s special advisor. Eric Zemmour notably popularized the controversial thesis of the “great replacement” of the writer Renaud Camus, and also judge
Islam “incompatible” with the Republic. Some of his words have earned him
to be condemned by justice.

On the right too, the candidacy seems to embarrass

But the RN is not the only party embarrassed by a possible Zemmour candidacy. The February Ifop poll indicated that the electorate of François Fillon in 2017 said they were just as ready to vote for him as that of Marine Le Pen (23%, against 22%). And the person, who had been warmly invited to the headquarters of the Republicans in 2019, keeps a nice side among the LR militants. “His candidacy would weaken the Republicans, who suffer from the absence of a candidate. For Zemmour, voters disappointed with LR are the easiest to convince, ”said LR deputy from Vaucluse
Julien Aubert at the Express, who asks: “But why would Eric Zemmour not participate in a tie-breaking mechanism for Republicans?” It has its place ”.

This sulphurous proposition, taken over by Senator LR du Rhône Etienne Blanc, did not lead to a comment to the party leadership, already embarrassed to find a process of appointment. Few of the LR elected officials want to express themselves on the subject. “There is a difference between media noise and electoral potential. He has no project, no party, no mayor’s signatures. Let us be careful not to shake red rags, “sweeps the LR deputy of Pas-de-Calais, Pierre-Henri Dumont. An LR executive for his part evokes an “absurd application”.

It is finally in the camp of Nicolas Dupont-Aignan that we find the least hostilities to this candidacy. The entourage of the candidate Debout la France for the presidential election wishes “good luck” to the columnist, while regretting the absence of “a rallying process” from the patriot camp.



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