at a glance, visualize the major divisions between the candidates

By Adrien Sénécat, Pierre Breteau, Pascaline David and Manon Romain

Posted today at 7:01 p.m.

The traditional opposition between the right and the left has died, the era is in the duel between ” progressive “ and “nationalists”. This is the analysis carried out by Emmanuel Macron and his majority since 2017. The president has, in fact, chosen to poach personalities from the right and from the left. With the approach of the first round of the 2022 presidential election, Sunday April 10, is this postulate verified in the proposals of the twelve candidates? What are the main lines of political division now?

In an attempt to see things more clearly, Les Décoders du World compared their positions on a dozen major issues, contrasting two major visions. An example: should we strengthen labor law with new social progress or, on the contrary, make it more flexible to ensure the smooth running of businesses? We then positioned the candidates on an axis, according to their more or less marked proximity to one pole or the other.

The opposition between the right and the left remains topical

In the majority of the themes that we have studied, the opposition between the right and the left remains topical. Taxation is a glaring illustration of this: on the one hand, the candidates on the left are calling for higher taxation of capital and a more progressive income tax. On the other, right-wing and far-right candidates favor lower inheritance taxes.

The right-left divide is very marked on most economic and social issues, but also on immigration, national identity and social issues. Thus, the positions of Valérie Pécresse (right), Marine Le Pen (extreme right) and Eric Zemmour (extreme right) are almost systematically opposed to those of Yannick Jadot (ecologist), Jean-Luc Mélenchon (radical left) or Anne Hidalgo ( socialist).

On other themes, however, the boundaries are less clear. First, there is the European Union (EU), which has been dividing for decades. The far-right candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour are camped on positions hostile to European construction, without going so far as to ask for a pure and simple exit from the EU. But opposite, the most pro-European candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Yannick Jadot, are not the most marked on the left. Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Fabien Roussel (Communist) are on a critical line vis-à-vis Europe, although less marked than the extreme right. And Valérie Pécresse positions herself between the two, refusing any encroachment of European jurisprudence on the French Constitution, while saying she is open to “shared elements of sovereignty” between France and other EU countries.

The question of institutions also partly escapes the traditional divide. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, Marine Le Pen or even Jean Lassalle thus take up the idea of ​​the citizens’ initiative referendum (RIC), which also appeals to many on the left.

The health crisis linked to the pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 has also reshuffled the cards. In 2017, several candidates proposed a massive cut in the civil service, starting with François Fillon (right) who wanted to cut 500,000 jobs. In 2022, only Valérie Pécresse still proposes the elimination of 200,000 public jobs in services which she presents as “overadministered”while proposing to recruit 50,000 civil servants in health, justice and education.

Similarly, the economic orientations of the twelve candidates are much less marked by an imperative of budgetary rigor than five years ago. The “whatever it takes” by Emmanuel Macron has moved the lines.

Read also Presidential election 2022: view the speaking times of each candidate in the media

The Emmanuel Macron case: an obvious proximity with Valérie Pécresse, but exceptions

As for Emmanuel Macron, our analysis accredits the observation of an increasingly marked positioning on the right. The candidate president is certainly more liberal than the right-wing and far-right candidates on social issues, and stands out clearly on immigration or national identity, but we can see an obvious proximity between his proposals and those of the Republican candidate, Valérie Pécresse. Both converge on eight of the twelve themes that we have identified. Sometimes with almost identical measures from one program to another, such as the abolition of the royalty, retirement at 65 or the reduction of inheritance rights. And although his positions sometimes stand out from those of his rival, in particular on public spending, Emmanuel Macron does not endorse major political markers traditionally on the left.

Similarly, Marine Le Pen remains firmly rooted on the far right on most issues, although she has rejected this label for several years. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, meanwhile, is also above all a candidate very anchored on the left, even if he intended to overcome this divide to speak more broadly to the people.

See the comparator: Compare the programs of the main candidates

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