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Jean-Luc Mélenchon faced with the insoluble Le Pen equation

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, at a meeting in Marseille, March 27, 2022.

The confrontation with Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon knows. This battle began with a “Who is she? » on a television set in 2002. Then it was peppered with brilliant blows and setbacks, as in Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais), in the legislative elections of 2012, when the leader of the Left Front of then had been taken out in the first round and that the president of the National Front at the time had failed in the second round.

Confronted with the extreme right, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is the one who theorized the need to descend into the arena. So why, this year, does Marine Le Pen seem more spared than usual, as if the leader of the “rebellious” was trying to avoid a head-on collision? More demonized than ever by the emergence of Eric Zemmour, the deputy nevertheless represents an obstacle in the way of the candidate of the Popular Union, who has become the third man in the presidential election in the opinion polls.

Sunday March 27, in Marseille, the candidate mocked the idea of“a second low-cost tour, with the current owner of the premises and his friends on one side, and the heiress of the family firm on the other after she got rid of the doberman who had climbed onto the table”. This is the most likely outcome, against which the supporters of the Popular Union commit their forces. Getting ahead of Marine Le Pen would be a feat, but the candidate claims to be well placed, “right in front of the mouse hole”.

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Eric Zemmour, his first target

In this campaign, Jean-Luc Mélenchon began by attacking Eric Zemmour. When the polemicist emerged in the fall of 2021, Marine Le Pen was in difficulty. The former journalist Figaro and the candidate of La France insoumise (LFI) had the advantage of speaking the same language, of having rubbed shoulders and sharing a taste for historical references, even if it was to say diametrically opposed things. Eric Zemmour, by dividing the far-right electorate, lowered the entry ticket to the second round, then noted with hope the candidate’s team.

At the time, some on the left even accused the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône of raising the polemicist by debating with him, relaunching the old debate on how to campaign against the far right. After having taken him twice as an opponent, Jean-Luc Mélenchon walked past him. But this drop in the regime of the Reconquest candidate! was made at the cost of an almost mechanical lift from Marine Le Pen, who is now blocking the way for the candidate of the Union Populaire.

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