The president of the northernmost region of France is launching two elections at once. Campaigning for his re-election in the new Hauts-de-France region (ex Nord + Picardie) in the face of a united left and a firmly established National Gathering, Xavier Bertrand is also looking at the supreme election to be held in April 2022.
The March Odoxa / Dentsu consulting / regional press barometer delivers three lessons in this regard.
1. Xavier Bertrand’s departure is successful
It enjoys the support of 80% of supporters of the right and the center. An essential prerequisite. Xavier Bertrand is quite clearly ahead of his more or less declared competitors. A twenty point bonus (67% positive opinions) against Laurent Wauquiez (48%) and Valérie Pécresse (47%) with the people of the right and a greater ability to rally voters from the left or at least from the center left (4 points more than the president of Ile de France, 7 more than her counterpart in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes). Nevertheless, the latter did not push their pawns and can consider these odds as very correct, in particular Laurent Wauquiez folded on his region for two years after the failure of his party to the Europeans.
2. He must rally Nicolas Sarkozy to his cause
Conviction or not, retirement or recourse: the figure of Nicolas Sarkozy remains essential on the right. The former head of state is a reference for 80% of right-wing supporters. François Fillon paid to know: without the full support of the last right-wing president brilliantly elected (2007-2012) (83% participation), the campaign can become hell.
Relations between Xavier Bertrand and Nicolas Sarkozy are calmer than in 2007-2012 without being radiant. Especially those close to the former president hate the elected Picard who will have to work on his relations
3. He will have to face a real pack around Emmanuel Macron
This is an effect of the pandemic: for the first time since the start of the five-year term, personalities are asserting themselves around the President of the Republic. this was the case by Edouard Philippe in 2020, which among right-wing supporters is on par with Xavier Bertrand and does not see his popularity erode. The mayor of Le Havre returns to the field with a book to show that it exists. In 2021, two other ministers will see their rating rise: Bruno the Mayor, thanks to its management of the economic side of the crisis and Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health who rises to the front. The former Grenoble socialist has another advantage: the left-wing electorate enjoys it at almost 40%.
To face the outgoing president now surrounded by personalities recognized as solid, Xavier Bertrand will therefore have to expand his entourage.
Survey carried out on a sample of 1005 French people interviewed online on March 24 and 25, 2021.