Olivier Véran, an unconvincing candidate for the Europeans?

Expected to be head of the presidential majority list in the European elections, Olivier Véran fails to make the difference in the polls.

Olivier Véran, an unconvincing candidate for the Europeans?

Expected to be head of the presidential majority list in the European elections, Olivier Véran fails to make the difference in the polls.

Olivier Véran's future seemed set after his departure from the government: to become the head of the presidential camp's list in the European elections. The well-known and appreciated face of the former government spokesperson - the man is in the top 10 political figures most appreciated by the French, according to the Elabe barometer carried out for Les Echos at the beginning of January - was expected to raise the presidential majority in voting intentions. At least in theory, because in practice the hypothesis worked.

The name of Olivier Véran does not attract more voters than that of Stéphane Séjourné, head of the majority list in 2019 and appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Gabriel Attal. Olivier Véran's list would only collect 18% of voting intentions for the European elections organized in June 2024 according to the latest Cluster 17 survey for Le Point. This is less than the 22.4% obtained in 2019, but above all it is far from the 28.5% voting intentions granted to the National Rally for the upcoming election.

Stéphane Séjourné out of the race, Olivier Véran and Clément Beaune are among those expected to lead the majority list for the Europeans, but no option appears to be the miracle solution. And for good reason, the problem does not come so much from the personality named head of the list, but from a sort of disappointment felt by Emmanuel Macron's voters. Only six out of ten Macronist voters would vote for the presidential majority in the next European elections according to the Cluster 17 poll. And the presidential camp would not succeed in winning many votes from other electorates, whether left or right. The appointment of certain personalities from the right to the government, such as Rachida Dati or Catherine Vautrin, does not seem to change the situation in terms of right-wing voters compatible with macronism, a part of them already voting for the presidential camp.

While the reshuffle was supposed to breathe new life into the majority with a view to European women, the effects of the change are still not being felt. The Renaissance party still has a few months to try to reverse the trend and regain the upper hand over the far right of the National Rally. And the stakes are high, because a victory for the RN “would result in a considerable loss of legitimacy and would lead to real difficulty in governing, especially in the absence of a majority in Parliament,” analyzes Jean-Yves Dormagen, science researcher politicians and founder of the Cluster 17 institute.

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