Yesterday, Monday, November 21, the first and only debate took place on the LCI set between the three candidates for the presidency of the Les Républicains party, Eric Ciotti, Bruno Retailleau and Aurélien Pradié, with relatively different profiles. Given the thorny position in which their party finds itself – especially since the very disappointing score of their candidate Valérie Pécresse in the 2022 presidential election – this election of their next number one will be crucial.

Members will vote online during the weekend of December 3 and 4, a vote that could well have consequences for the 2027 presidential election. Indeed, Eric Ciotti reiterated during the debate his intention to automatically appoint Laurent Wauquiez as LR candidate in the next presidential election if he becomes the new number one. A strategic choice which is not approved by its two competitors, as reported by our colleagues from Figaro.

However, it was very clear last night that none of the three candidates in the running wanted to expose deep divisions, of substance or form, between him and the others. Indeed, the members of the party do not appreciate seeing him torn apart in front of them, and hope above all for a leader who will be able to bring them together. On the subject of the constitutionalization of the right to access to abortion in particular, the three candidates agreed on the fact that they had to find a balance between conservatism and modernity.

Bruno Retailleau – whom some call the trio “the frog of the clam” of the trio, explains Le Point – in the face of barely veiled criticism aimed at him, retorts: “It is always a bad thing that the right takes up words from the left to make people feel guilty precisely the right “… A subject on which all three are also convinced: they do not like Macronie, and want to set up their party as a real opposition, probably having the 2027 presidential election in their sights, for which they hope to embody a “moderate” alternative “, once the acknowledgment of failure of the Macron five-year term has been recorded.

The support that Nicolas Sarkozy gave to Emanuel Macron during the last presidential election cannot be forgiven. In addition to the need for renewal expressed with more or less vehemence by the three candidates, it is this gesture that they invoke to justify the break with the former number one and traditional boss of the right for several years.

Aurélien Pradié, who claims to be from the “social” right, cleverly plays the newbie card: he claims to be the only one who can put this break into practice, arguing that the other two candidates embody the historic enemy and lieutenant of Sarkozy…