Is the powerlessness of the political class irreversible in the face of the risk of record abstention?

Abstention could steal the show from the future president of the republic. Within three weeks of the first round, pollsters are afraid to join in half-mast.

According to a recent Ipsos survey on franceinfo, only 65-69% of voters were able to vote.Therefore, abstention isPrior to the 28.4% recorded on April 21, 2002, the 30% mark on April 10th, which will be the record for the presidential election under the Fifth Republic, led to a surprising qualifying for Jean-Marie Le. I did. pen.

Twenty years later, the reasons for indifference announced in this new election are not necessarily the same. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic and the war in Ukraine, the presidential campaign is struggling to establish a position in the daily lives of the French. Voting refusals also continue to be swayed as a weapon of protest by many disillusioned voters.

For Mathieu Gallard, head of research at Ipsos, the twelve candidates for the presidential election have a lot to do with it. “Unlike the 2017 presidential election, this campaign has no strong issues that directly affect the daily lives of French people. We talk about Ukraine and Covid, but their main concern is purchasing power. Little or little talk. Five years ago there was a strong proposal. Marin Le Pen wanted to leave the euro, Benoit Amon suggested setting a universal income, Francois. Fiyon wanted to reduce the number of civil servants … “Lists pollsters and recalls that 78% of French people subsequently participated in polls. This corresponds to the average turnout of the presidential elections since 1959.

“Candidates have a very good program to please voters, but they don’t encourage the average voter to vote. The 1997 35-hour Lionel Jospin proposal is. It had a great impact on people’s daily lives.

Matthew Garrard, Research Director of Ipsos

on franceinfo

The fact that polls promise an almost pre-determined election if no candidate is heard for a particular proposal that is not printed in public opinion due to health and international circumstances also distracts the French from this ballot. , Capital. “Sure, we are quickly measuring this sentiment among people on earth. Many believe that Emmanuel Macron’s reelection has already been won, even if it isn’t.”Macronie recognizes the framework.

Demobilization of voters from the historically split left may also explain the prospect of a major abstention on April 10. Polls on Socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo are currently the worst and could “blame” the abstention of traditional PS voters. “On the ground, activists unfortunately don’t have a chance to play in the second round and say they don’t want to vote for a candidate that is definitely worse than Benoit Amon in 2017. [6,36% au premier tour]“”Frustrated, leave a socialist deputy.

This phenomenon, which usually hits middle-aged polls (less than one-third of registered voters voted in the last local elections) in the face of abstention, seems to be very powerless for the political class. It seems to be.Proved by Emmanuel Macron’s reaction during his presentation last Thursday “French President Project” In front of more than 300 journalists.

Asked by France Amfo about his division of responsibilities in the very weak civil mobilization announced for this presidential election, Emmanuel Macron is visibly frustrated and sends everyone, especially the media, back to back. I liked that. “”You are as responsible as I am. Instead of saying, “This will be a tragedy, I’m not interested in this election,” let’s go. Explain to your compatriots that this is an essential election. “, He launched. Before adding: “I have a wide shoulder and want to support a lot, but I don’t think I’m solely responsible for what’s happening in the democratic life of the country. We’re all responsible. I owe it. “

The impending record abstentions, especially among young people, are not equally relevant to all candidates. On the side of traditional political stables, we don’t or rarely bet on French people who hesitate to vote. A member of the Les Républicains admits: “Old parties like us I’m not interested in awakening abstainers. It is better to mobilize our traditional voters. It is extreme to need abstainers, not us. “He guarantees franceinfo and confirms it “The efforts of Valérie Pécrès’ extremist team are currently not at all focused in this direction.”

Conversely, at Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, persuasive abstainers are part of the strategy. If the French candidate for disobedience must first rally the left and expect to reach the second round, he could earn valuable points from the side of undecided voters. I am aware of. “We need to get votes on the left side, but the rest are to be deprived of abstention. Moreover, if it’s his job, there is no state communication campaign on this subject. With the remaining points and 2 points of abstention, you can reach 16-17%. And here we are participating in the game. “LFI executives say.

“Abstention is a problem for us and we want closer to 80% participation than 60%. We do door-to-door sales 500 times a week and have correspondents in charge of exhibitions and towing. This is a micro. -Mesh. “

French framework of disobedience

on franceinfo

In July, the government called on parliament to carry out an information mission on abstentions in order to stop this nearly 30-year-old increase in abstentions and reconcile citizens with the untrustworthy political class. After 8 months of work, 70 expert hearings and consultations with citizens, 28 suggestions “Improve voting facilities and reconnect voters with elected officials” It was handed over to Marlene Siappa, Minister of Citizenship in November.

Problem: The report was submitted just months before the presidential election. Therefore, Congressman’s recommendations could not be actually studied and were not further implemented for this presidential election. “It’s true that we couldn’t go any further for timing reasons. At the same time, Emmanuel Macron, who wanted to renew democracy when he came to power in 2017, didn’t keep his promise. Looking at, our proposal is suspicious. It will really be taken up. “Ain’s LR Deputy Director and Chairman of the Fact-Finding Team, Guzavier Breton, in favor of allowing a blank vote.

For his colleague LREM Stephen Trabert, the reporter of the mission, the proposed measures have the benefit of at least allowing reflection on the next election. “For example, automating listings thanks to a single electoral roll when you move, or allowing double adult guardianship, is a very good way to do it, and we’ll give them them. I wanted to deploy it right away. “Guarantees the former Minister of Agriculture of Emmanuel Macron.

“If we decided to take these steps six months before the election, we would have been inevitably accused of tampering with the election. Therefore, be careful not to do so and work for the future. I like it. “

Stephen Travert, LREM MP

on franceinfo

The use of electronic voting is also one of the technically difficult measures, especially due to the risk of fraud. “First and foremost, we need a more participatory direct democracy that feels that France is truly involved in decision-making. The parliament must also be representative of society, and finally, activists are far more. Few political parties need to reconnect with reality during the heyday of the Gauristo or Communist Party. “Pollster Matthew Garrard explains.

To patch voters to the political class and give them a taste of going to vote, most presidential candidates also say they are in favor of introducing a proportional representation system in parliament.The head of state had to finally fill in due to lack of consensus, but he recently said the promise of 2017 by Macron. “preferable”..

Fear of the generalization of intermittent voting, where some French choose elections to vote, also suggests to experts on this subject that they have promised longer remobilization work. .. “In this presidential election, which also applies to many French in the middle of school holidays, the only thing that will undoubtedly lead to a resurgence of participation is arguably the very strong conflicts and significant opposition in the last few days. am. “”Projects Jean-Daniel Lévy, Deputy Director of the Harris Interactive Poll. Please reply within 3 weeks.