unsurprisingly, Mrs. Loiseau and Mr. Bardella play two irreconcilable partitions

Nathalie Loiseau, top of the list of the majority, and Jordan Bardella, his rival of the National Rally, during their televised debate, in Paris, on April 4th.
Nathalie Loiseau, top of the list of the majority, and Jordan Bardella, his rival of the National Rally, during their televised debate, in Paris, on April 4th. CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / REUTERS

Call him to a "Referendum" against the policy of Emmanuel Macron. She considers that there is "No strong France without strong Europe".

Wednesday, May 15, eleven days of European elections, was played on BFM TV "the" face-to-face between the two favorites polls. For nearly an hour, the candidate of the National Rally (RN), Jordan Bardella, and that of the Republic en marche (LRM), Nathalie Loiseau, alternated proposals and blows, defending two programs as radically different as their vision of Europe. Borders, the European Union, European integration, free trade agreements … The two formations are opposed on almost all subjects.

In the hope of mobilizing his electorate, everyone has therefore supported its fundamentals. Not surprisingly, Mme Loiseau emphasized the importance of Europe in defending itself in globalization. "To be a power against China, the United States or Russia, it is not France alone that can negotiate but the European Union (EU) "she said. Mr. Bardella pleaded for a "Europe of nations", posing as the "Defender of peoples" and borders.

On the migration issue, the former Minister of European Affairs has remained faithful to her median line: "Welcome asylum seekers" all in "Fighting against illegal immigration". He camped on his closing position. "We must restore doors at home France" and "Turn off the tap", he said, insisting on "Demographic bomb" represented, according to him, by " the African continent ".

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Barney on the smic

Even antagonism on the economy. The opportunity for the majority candidate to defend her idea of "European smic" and to deny the accusations of the opposition: "There has never been talk of lowering the French smic. "

The opportunity, especially, for Jordan Bardella to pose as a defender of "French workers" and opposing radical to "Globalism", synonymous according to him"Human slavery". "You want to end international trade! ", retorted Mme Loiseau.

None obviously forgot to press the weaknesses of the opponent to try to disqualify him. The Macronist candidate accused her competitor the penitentiary of not assuming "Get out of the EU" in fine, while the far-right party has turned a corner in the matter since the presidential election: no question of leaving the EU, now the RN claims to want the " transform " inside. Even pirouette on the euro, while Marine Le Pen based much of his presidential project, in 2017, on its output.

Mr. Bardella accused the former minister of being subject to "Private interests". He insisted heavily on the alliance between LRM and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the European parliamentary group criticized in March for receiving money from the Bayer-Monsanto group glyphosate.

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Personal attacks

At first cordial, the exchange quickly spread. Exit to raise the tone and to fall, sometimes, in personal attacks.

"We have never heard of you! "said Mr Bardella. "Do not be aggressive and we will have a civilized discussion", retorted Mme Loiseau. On the other hand, they both come together on a shared formula: "It's not because you repeat it that it becomes true. " And everyone advise the other to stop "Fake news" and "Language elements".

The loyal lieutenant of Marine Le Pen, 23, and the former director of ENA finally played two irreconcilable scores. Nathalie Loiseau focused on defending her project, using her usual faculty. At the risk of giving the impression of taking off his opponent, who pointed his " arrogance " Many times. Jordan Bardella, he released the card of the party that has never governed, and clearly called for a sanction vote against the head of state: "If Emmanuel Macron comes first, then he will feel justified in the arrogance and contempt he has expressed, and in the politics that is his. "

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Behind that of the two heads of the list, it is indeed especially another match which was replayed, two years later, almost day to day: the face to face Macron-Le Pen of the second round of the presidential one. For weeks, both have been directly involved in the campaign, staging their own duel. While Emmanuel Macron assured him "Would put all (his) energy so that the RN is not in the lead ", Marine Le Pen called him to " go " if he lost.

For two years, "Nothing has come for the moment to destabilize the duopoly"observes Ipsos polling director general, Brice Teinturier. Neither the exploded left nor the "Small dynamic" Bellamy, who was quickly out of breath on the right. In his view, LRM and the RN have an interest in "Maintain the pressure on a clash between two forces" in a campaign "Sluggish", or "Nothing sticks". "It stifles the other political parties. " It remains to be seen if, in ten days, the opposition will manage to invite itself in a duel programmed in advance.

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Alexandre Lemarié and Lucie Soullier

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