FIGAROVOX / INTERVIEW – The Ifop polling institute publishes a study on “zemmourization of minds”. If the ideas of Eric Zemmour find echo in French society, the controversy suffers from a credit deficit, analyzes the director of the Center Ifop Policy and News.

François Kraus is director of the Politics and News Department at Ifop. He published an Ifop / LICRA / Le DDV study on the extent and limits of “zemmourisation” of minds. His Twitter account: @ françois_kraus.

FIGAROVOX. – You publish an Ifop / LICRA / Le DDV study on the extent and limits of “zemmourization” of minds. Can we say that with or without Eric Zemmour, the right, which you qualify as radical-populist, has won the battle of ideas?

François KRAUS. – The influence of the theses of the “radical right” – or “national-populist” to use the terms used by political scientists – on the public debate cannot be reduced to its weight in voting intentions even if they are already reaching an exceptional level: the “national-sovereignist” bloc embodied today by Zemmour, Le Pen, Dupont-Aignan and Philippot today captures around a third of voting intentions according to the configurations in the first round of the presidential election. No one knows if the (non-) candidate Zemmour will stay at this level for a long time, or even if he will finally be able to stand. But his appearance in the campaign this fall had the merit of highlighting a structural phenomenon: the alignment of a large part of the electorate with the constituent “fundamentals”. the heart of the political offer of the radical right (ex: insecurity, immigration, Islamism, communitarianismâ ?? ¦).

To measure the extent of this right-wing attitude, we should not therefore be satisfied with measuring the weight of “men” – whose voting intentions can fluctuate according to the campaign – but also the influence of their “ideas”. However, what shows us a vast survey carried out by the IFOP for the LICRA and the DDV near 5,000 French (including 4,500 voters), is that the security topics and identities hammered for years by a Zemmour or a Le Pen collect a large echo in the population, including sometimes in the center and on the left of the political chessboard.

The lack of judicial response to delinquency is the subject of a near-consensus in the country, judging by the number of voters (82%) who share the idea e according to which “the French courts are not severe enough”. Likewise, the feeling of insecurity is much higher than that measured twelve years ago with regard to the proportion of voters sharing the observation that “We do not feel safe nowhere ”(63%, 13 points since 2010).

And this feeling of general insecurity is not just a “whim” of the voters of the radical right (90%) or the moderate (68%): it is also expressed by one in two centrist voters (eg: 49% of potential Macronist voters in 2022) and by nearly half (48%) of voters close to a leftist formation. Moreover, the fact that a significant fraction of the radical left also shares this observation (45% of voters “very left”, 48% of voters close to LFI, 41% potential voters of MÃ © lenchon of 2022) tends to consolidate the new communist position on the subject by showing that there is a real demand for security in the ranks of this left.

But it is undoubtedly on questions relating to immigration that the intellectual hegemony of the national right is most obviousâ ?? ¦

TO?? SEE ALSO – Exchange of honor fingers in Marseille between Eric Zemmour and a passerby

In view of the central place of the migration question in the discourse of the radical right, the degree of support for certain ideas on the number of immigrants in France or on their role in the Insecurity indeed seems to us to be very symptomatic of what is now called – rightly or wrongly – the “zemmourization of minds”.

Today, the majority of voters questioned believe that “immigration is the main cause of insecurity”.

Overall, the observation that “there are too many immigrants” is now shared by more than two thirds of voters (69%, 10 points since 2010). And if this idea is overwhelmingly shared by the voters of the different right, it is also by two thirds of the Macronist voters (66%) and half of the voters of extreme left (50% among voters close to rebellious France, 58% among voters located very to the left). On this subject, we can also observe that the theory of the “great replacement” (Camus, 2014) has spread sufficiently so that today, half of the voters ( 50%) have the impression of undergoing a process of substitution of French people of ancestry by a foreign population. And despite its radicalism, this observation is shared by two-thirds of right-wing voters (66%), almost half of Macronist voters (44%) and a large third of voters Melenchonist readers (37%).

Another subject less and less taboo while it is at the heart of Zemourian discourse: the causal link between insecurity and immigration. Today, the majority of voters polled believe that “immigration is the main cause of insecurity” (62%) and they are almost as many (55%, 10 points since 2014) to adhere to the remarks which had earned Eric Zemmour a conviction by justice, remarks in which he justified the checks on young people of immigrant origin in the name of the fact “that most traffickers are black and Arabs ”(Canal, 2010).

Finally, the expression of an ethnocentrist and identity discourse is no longer the prerogative of the voters of the radical right.

The rejection of Islam is thus expressed at a very high level as we have seen with the number of voters who perceive “Islam as” a threat to society. ‘identity of France’ (68%, 5 points since 2013) or who share the Zemourian assertion that ‘the practice of Islam is not accountable with France’ (44%). And we find the same ethnocentric vision in the high number of people who want “France to remain a Christian country” (68%).

Finally, the high adherence rate (57%) to Zemmour’s statement that “we are first and foremost a people of the white race, of the Christian religion and of the Greek culture. co-romaine “(CNews, Face À l’Info, June 26, 2020) can only worry an anti-racist association like the Licra which has always fought against the banal invocation of the notion of” white race ” .

It is therefore clear that on the triptych formed by immigration, insecurity and Islam, the radical right seems to have won the battle of ideas to the point of worrying anti-racist associations who regularly sues people like Zemmour.

This may seem somewhat paradoxical inasmuch as Eric Zemmour’s positions on public order, religions or border control have a large resonance within a population. which has put the fight against delinquency, terrorism and immigration at the top of the list of determining issues of the presidential election vote.

But this “dead end” can be explained by the fact that his ideological victory is partly misleading.

First of all because Zemmour does not have a monopoly on his subjectsâ ?? ¦ The cultural hegemony acquired by the right on the themes of security and identity is the fruit of a collective work which must also to Le Pen and various figures of the classical right. In the case of an electoral competition as personalized as the presidential election, he is therefore far from being the only one able to embody a response to this demand for order and security.

The tension of identity and the demand for protection and authority put forward by the French do not, however, signify a desire for societal conservatism, ultra-radical reforms or liberalism on the economic plan.

Then because as a newbie in politics, Zemmour suffers from a credit deficit which will not decrease until he breaks his political isolation – he still has not succeeded in rally leading political figures – and that he does not succeed in his transition from the status of “journalist” to that of “politician”. However, these trips to Drancy, Bataclan and Marseille only confirmed his difficulty in moving from controversial to candidate. All these episodes – of which the middle finger in Marseille is only the ultimate illustration – could only alter his presidentiality, especially with a right-wing electorate who can see in it a form of lowering of the public debate incompatible with the presumption or higher functions. In our survey, it also emerged that his personality and his presidential stature are the last reasons why his voters voted for him.

Finally, this impasse is due to the very content of its political offer which, in my opinion, is based on a deep error of analysis. The tension of identity and the demand for protection and authority put forward by the French do not, however, signify a desire for societal conservatism, ultra-radical reforms or liberalism on the economic plan. The last wave of the European Values ​​Survey (2018) had already highlighted this double trend â ???? apparently contradictory â ???? to social liberalism on the one hand and to a demand for security on the other. However, with his rearguard battles on issues of memory (Vichy, Gayssotâ ?? ¦ law) or society (homoparentality, feminism), he puts himself in a situation  “Out of touch” in the eyes of an intellectual and media environment which can only be hostile to him. With its positions on societal issues which are extremely in the minority, it appears to be completely at odds with a French society which, structurally, is more and more open to societal issues. Concretely, the electoral deadlock of zemmourism lies in the fact that it deprives itself both of RN voters by its liberal economic program and of voters of the moderate right. driven by its backlash and ultraconservatism on societal issues. The political isolation, the amateurism of its teams and the ultra-divisive nature of some of its proposals (eg first namesâ ?? ¦) do the rest.

With such a narrow political spectrum, his chances of qualifying in the second round are therefore held, and all the more so if he ends up losing a conservative Catholic electorate hot by his lack of manners and the echoes of the celebrity press on his private life.

the 11/30/2021 at 12:34

frankly, you see that president of the French Republic …. No he’s just there to spread his hatred and tried to instill it in the French population like Le Pen in his time. He is one of those who are called on the extreme right “the accelerator” who want to precipitate civil and racial war until the system is broken up or taken over. power.

the 11/30/2021 at 11:49 AM

We hope that this learned sausage, sponsored by an organization known for its moderation and against a background of participatory volatility, will enlighten the French. As for the “respectability” of the successful candidate, is that the subject? If he wants to play “Trump”, transgression is on the agenda – too bad for those in the know in their office.

the 11/30/2021 at 11:02

Interesting article. But that makes a big mistake, in my opinion, on social issues. The French are very far from agreeing with homoparentality, assisted reproduction, surrogacy, sex change etc … No more than they are with their media or “intellectual” scorners who remain ultra-minority. Many of us are horrified by the idea that his child decides to change his gender.

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