blocked at the gates of the second round, Mélenchon imposes himself as the leader on the left


The deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, candidate for the third recovery in the presidential election, obtained 21.95% of the vote.

A month later, the sentence is cruel: “This presidential, I feel it well”, dropped Jean-Luc Mélenchon in an interview with the Sunday newspaper, on March 13. The ax fell this Sunday at 8 p.m. Despite the good momentum recorded in recent weeks, the leader of La France insoumise (LFI) fails to qualify for the second round of the presidential election.

With 21.95% of the vote, according to the results communicated by the Ministry of the Interior on the basis of 97% of registered voters, the tribune is held in check at the gates of the second round by the outgoing Emmanuel Macron and the candidate of the Rassemblement national (RN) Marine Le Pen. “We must not give a single voice to Ms. Le Pen,” he urged Sunday evening after the announcement of the results.

>> Presidential: see the results of the first round on our platform and follow the reactions and analyzes live

Jean-Luc Mélenchon therefore remains at the foot of the podium, dominated by the two finalists from 2017. Emmanuel Macron won 27.6% of the vote (24.01% in 2017) and Marine Le Pen 23.41% (21.3% in 2017). Calls for an “effective vote” on the left launched by the rebellious did not bear the expected fruit. Five years ago, Jean-Luc Mélenchon came fourth with 19.58% of the vote, in a pocket handkerchief with François Fillon, him at 20.01%.

Dynamics in the polls

“The last time, everything was decided in a month”, analyzed with Antoine Léaument, head of digital communication for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in February.

In fact, Jean-Luc Mélenchon has seen a steady rise in opinion polls in recent months. Friday, a few hours from the end of the official campaign, it was given to more than 17% of voting intentions. It was around 8% at the beginning of January. He therefore thwarted the latest trends.

Small consolation for the disappointed candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon ensures by his result the place of leader on the left, imposing himself very largely in the lead in front of the ecologist Yannick Jadot (4.58%), the socialist Anne Hidalgo (1 .74%) and anti-capitalist candidates Philippe Poutou (0.77%) and Nathalie Arthaud (0.57%). A stature that should not satisfy the environmentalist and the socialist, as the latter have targeted “the rebellious” in recent weeks, on his personality, his ability to unite as well as on his positions on Russia and the invasion of Europe. ‘Ukraine.

With BFMTV last week, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s campaign manager, Manuel Bompard, stressed the importance for the rebellious to strengthen this status of undisputed leader on the left, while tempering. “The second round is vital… If we are not in the second round, it will be more difficult (to take the leadership, Editor’s note)“, he thought.

“One goal: to be in the second round”

Launched early in the race for the Élysée in November 2020, the pace has really picked up in recent weeks. The campaign was designed with a ramp-up over the past month. “Before, I didn’t want to show myself too much,” the candidate told BFMTV a few days ago.

It was mid-January that the campaign really started for the teams, with the big “immersive and olfactory” meeting of the former socialist in Nantes. A meeting that had marked the spirits, welcomed even at the opposite end of the political spectrum – the director of events for Eric Zemmour, Olivier Ubéda, had testified to his “professional respect for the beautiful scenography of the meeting-conference”.

“He is in his campaign, focused on a single objective, to be in the second round”, declared Antoine Léaument on Tuesday.

At the end of the week, Jean-Luc Mélenchon appeared in good shape, relaxed, but without being certain of appearing in the leading duo and reaching the second round. “Millions of people will vote for the Common Future program”, he retained.

At a meeting in Lille on Tuesday, with the return of his holograms in eleven other cities, the former senator from Essonne declared at the end: “I am not preparing another election, I have done the job.” Will he return for a new term as deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône? He “will not stop”, indicate his relatives, without however wanting to say if he will be a candidate for the legislative elections.

“Another world is possible”

On Friday, just before the first round, the rebellious leader benefited from last-minute support: Christiane Taubira, who withdrew her candidacy a few weeks ago for not having collected the required 500 sponsorships, announced in a press release that his vote would go to Jean-Luc Mélenchon to “block the road” to the far right, judging that the latter’s coming to power became “plausible at the end of this presidential election”.

“Another world is possible”, launched Jean-Luc Mélenchon on March 20, Place de la République in Paris after his march for the Sixth Republic. “Don’t hide behind differences, behind leaders, don’t hide,” he urged. La France insoumise had claimed 100,000 participants in the march.

A show of force which will not have been enough for Jean-Luc Mélenchon to manage to climb, for the first time after his attempts in 2012 and 2017, in the second round of the presidential election. “Let’s not hide the violence of disappointment,” he said of his own score on Sunday. “The violence of disappointment, it is first of all by thinking of all that would have been undertaken and which will not be”.

“But at the same time, how to hide (…), also, the pride of the work accomplished? The popular pole exists! If we were not there, what would be left? What would we have? Nothing! And we have built this force,” he said.

“So of course, the youngest will tell me: well, we haven’t got there yet! It’s not far…”, launched Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “I don’t look good, nor want to be comforted.” For the rebellious leader, “the struggle continues”.

Perrine Vasque and Clarisse Martin


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