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A very political battle of figures between Nupes and the Ministry of the Interior

According to the official results published by the Ministry of the Interior, the union of the left led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon came second in the first round of the legislative elections. A “manipulation”, accuse the executives of Nupes who dispute the calculations of Place Beauvau.

Legislative 2022 © FMM Graphic Studio

It may be a detail for you, but for the union of the left, it means a lot. The official results of the interior ministry placed Nupes in second position in the first round of the legislative elections, just behind Together!, which brings together the parties close to the presidential majority.

According to Place Beauvau, 5,857,561 Together! were slipped into the polls on Sunday (25.75%), against 5,836,202 votes for the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (25.66%). But these results are strongly contested by executives of France Insoumise which claims 300,000 additional votes for itself and its socialist, communist and environmentalist allies.

“These numbers are wrong! [Le ministère de l’Intérieur] removes us from the candidates without a doubt”, got carried away Alexis Corbière, the deputy LFI of Seine Saint-Denis, Monday, June 13, on RMC.

Manuel Bompard, candidate for Nupes in the 4e constituency of Bouches-du-Rhône, also sounded the “alert to the new manipulation of Darmanin”, the Minister of the Interior, who would have liked to make “artificially appear Macron’s party in the lead”.

“Hello the Council of State?”, He launched, six days after a decision of the institution which, seized in summary by several left parties, had ordered the Ministry of the Interior to take into consideration the Nupes as “a political nuance in its own right” during the ballot and not “an alliance of circumstance”.

It was only after this appeal that Place Beauvau was forced to count under one and the same banner the votes of the candidates invested in or supported by the union of the left instead of distributing them among the different parties that make up the Nudes.

What does the Ministry of the Interior answer?

How then to understand the difference between the figures of the Ministry of the Interior and those put forward by France Insoumise (LFI)? The explanation lies in the labeling used for certain candidates.

In several constituencies in the Overseas Territories, no candidate for a post of deputy enjoys the official label “Nupes”. These are classified as “miscellaneous left”.

>> To read: Legislative: abstention, big winner of the first round

Joined by France 24, the Ministry of the Interior specifies that “it is the direction of the Nupes campaign which, by an email sent on June 8, 2022, listed all the candidates to whom it will be appropriate to attribute the nuance “Nupes”. In this list, however very complete, there was no candidate overseas. These candidates do not appear on the their official website“.

Some candidates from Corsica and overseas, territories outside the national Nupes agreement, have therefore not been counted. This is the case of Karine Le Bon in the 2e constituency of La Réunion (42.9%) or even the rebellious outgoing deputy Jean-Hugues Ratenon in the 5e (36.38%).

For its part, LFI ensures that these candidates campaigned for Nupes, defending the program of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his allies, and should therefore be counted in the results of the first round.

The Ministry of the Interior also provides details for three candidates classified as various left “initially invested by the Nupes but who had declared that they wanted to give up this nomination”. This is Hervé Saulignac (1D constituency of Ardèche), Dominique Potier (5e of Meurthe-et-Moselle) and Joël Aviragnet (8e of Haute-Garonne).

“This is nothing new. Whenever there is a new alliance, there are always disputes about the candidates located in the ‘grey areas’. For example, those who have not been legally designated but who invoked the name of the alliance”, analyzes political scientist Arnaud Leclerc. “In this case, the Ministry of the Interior has been used for 40 years to build figures that plead in favor of power,” said the professor of political science at the University of Nantes.

“It doesn’t matter”

Finally, Place Beauvau ensures that all parties are in the same boat, citing the example of Damien Abad, “whom we can legitimately think is supported by Together” but “is counted in various right”. Qualified in the second round in Ain, the Minister of Solidarity is now “on leave” from the Republicans, the label under which he was elected deputy in 2017.

“Some candidates who came from other political parties did not declare themselves in the Prefecture (under the label) Together and were therefore not counted in the Together figures”, summed up on France Inter Gabriel Attal, the Minister of Accounts public and qualified candidate in Hauts-de-Seine.

Beyond the symbol of occupying the place of the first party in number of votes in the first round, these differences in calculation will however have no consequence on the composition of the future National Assembly during this uninominal majority ballot in two rounds. In addition, candidates labeled as “various left” or dissidents should ultimately join the ranks of the Nupes coalition.

“It’s essentially a matter of posture and communication to mobilize voters” in the second round, notes Arnaud Leclerc. “That’s why this number 1 spot can be important for the dynamic that Jean-Luc Mélenchon is trying to create,” adds the political scientist.

“All that does not matter”, assures on France Info EELV MEP David Cormand. According to him, “the reality is that it is the worst score for a presidential party in a legislative following a presidential election. That means that there is no really popular expectation of Emmanuel Macron”.

This battle of figures appears above all as the last episode of a particularly bitter campaign between a jostled presidential majority and a left in search of cohabitation.

According to Ipsos/Sopra Steria projections for France 24, Nupes would get between 150 and 190 seats. For its part, the Republic on the move and its allies (Together!) should be satisfied with 255 to 295, making the government fear the loss of the absolute majority in the National Assembly, ie 277 deputies.

A considerable issue which could further strain the political climate in the coming days and even beyond the second round of legislative elections scheduled for June 19.

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