A prominent figure on the French far right urged presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour to bridge their divisions or risk becoming “the most suicidal right in the world.”
Robert Ménard, mayor of Béziers and supporter of Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections, described the leader of the National Grouping (RN) party and former editorialist and political upstart Zemmour as “stupid” on Europe 1 radio on Thursday. .
“Today, if the polls are to be believed, our right has the majority on the broader right and represents a third of the electorate, but we are condemned to lose the elections because of their egos, their stables, their parties,” he added. .
According to an IFOP survey released on Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron, who has yet to make his candidacy official for the April elections, would emerge victorious in the first round with 27% of the votes.
Valérie Pécresse of the main right-wing Les Republicains (LR) party and Le Pen would each get 16.5% of the vote, while Zemmour is expected to claim 13.5% of the vote.
Ménard said he told the two candidates his concerns over dinner parties last week.
“I told them, they are crazy, they run the risk of finding themselves in a situation where neither of them will be in the second round and it will be Mrs. Pécresse,” he added.
As rumors emerged about a possible Zemmour candidacy in the fall, Le Pen urged the television expert to unite her cause and some in her party warned that she would split the far-right vote and prevent her candidate from reaching the second round.
But Zemmour launched his offer at the end of November through a new “Reconquête!” move and quickly established himself as a serious contender.
According to the Political Barometer from INSEAD business school, Zemmour was the most searched candidate on Google in December, accounting for almost 39% of all searches, ahead of Macron’s 29.2%. Le Pen was fifth behind Pécresse and former protégé turned rival Florian Philippot.
INSEAD Associate Professor of Marketing David Dubois, who leads the data project, noted, however, that Zemmour is “way ahead in YouTube searches, which could ultimately make a difference for young voters.”
“Launching your own search engine (www.zemmourpourtous.fr) contributed greatly to maintaining a high level of searches (an increase in searches after its launch on December 16). Overall, the data shows that his ‘digital first’ campaign is effective in generating searches beyond other candidates (a parallel can be drawn with Trump’s strategy in the US to get to the White House), ” he also highlighted INSEAD’s statement.
Ménard added Thursday that Le Pen’s answers “are what France needs” and urged both candidates to stop throwing “spikes” at each other.
Le Pen said on Wednesday that Zemmour acted as a “springboard” for Pécresse, to which he responded that his campaign was a “routine candidacy”.
According to the IFOP poll, both Pécresse and Le Pen will lose in a second round to Macron and, by a larger margin, the far-right candidate.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism