He was able to trim the gap, but it was not enough. Once again, Jean-Luc Mélenchon missed the boat. This time, recalls TF1 on its site, it only lacked 421,309 more votes to reach the second round. Or more or less six votes per polling station, said the main interested party, after acknowledging defeat. But that did not push the rebellious leader to hang up his hat! Only a few days after his third failure, he reappeared in front of the microphones of BFMTV to invite the French and the French to elect him Prime Minister, underlines Marianne. An effective form of political communication, which could allow him to establish himself as the main opponent of the President of the Republic. Provided, of course, not to embody the same thing as Emmanuel Macron.
In this regard, the face of the New popular, ecological and social union (NUPES) probably has nothing to worry about, explains the economist Alexandre Delaigue, who taught at the military school of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan and who now works as an associate professor at the University of Lille-1. “Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and this is also true for Emmanuel Macron, positions himself as the defender of the people who vote for him. That being said, the situation remains more difficult to analyze than it is for the president, since he has never had the opportunity to exercise power. We must always keep in mind that there is between the announcement and the application of a program”, summarizes the academic from the outset.
“In general, the policy advocated by Jean-Luc Mélenchon more or less corresponds to the interests of the electoral coalition which is his. He intends to upgrade public action, increase low wages and wants a strong policy of redistribution from high incomes to income earners.
Raul Magni-Berton, political scientist and professor at the Institute of Political Studies (IEP, Sciences-Po) in Grenoble joins Alexandre Delaigue. “The Jean-Luc Mélenchon vote is overrepresented in the working classes, especially in urban areas, and among civil servants. However, he inherits a vote from the working classes that is less marked than that of Marine Le Pen, ”explains the teacher.
But does Jean-Luc Mélenchon look like his own electorate?
Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a rich and fairly educated person. However, he is committed to defending the interests of ordinary people. Should we see a certain incompatibility there? Not necessarily, judge Raul Magni-Berton. “The electorate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, overall, is rather qualified too”, he underlines from the outset. “Besides, it is very difficult to find a candidate who would not be rich. It’s a systemic problem,” he said.
“Jean-Luc Mélenchon has spent his entire career in politics. He now has the income and social status of someone who has made a full career in politics. A career such as this necessarily involves being rich, but it would be a bad case to blame him for it. He is representative of people who lived and built up his heritage at the time he did. This did not prevent him from always being consistent, from staying on the same line”, recalls for his part Alexandre Delaigue.
Beyond the sole interest of a few that the unsuccessful candidate may wish to defend, he also advocates a vision of the specific general interest, consistent with his own reading grid.
“Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the candidate of a statist left. Its vision of the general interest is that of a strong State, whose public services are powerful”, explains Raul Magni-Berton. “The ideal society, as defined by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has significantly less income inequality than ours today. It is based on much greater public intervention and demonstrates greater ecological sobriety. This is what differentiates him from Emmanuel Macron: he does not perceive inequalities as the natural counterpart of a dynamic society, which would elevate everyone”, analyzes for his part Alexandre Delaigue.