이민정책, 2022년 프랑스 대통령 선거의 핫 이슈로 떠오르다
Expected on April 10 and 24, the French presidential election is to be held in less than one month. Amongst a wide variety of issues discussed during the presidential campaign, immigration and security stand out as one of the French voters’ major preoccupations. According to the Opinionway-Kéa Partners barometer for Les Echos and Radio Classique, as of March 23, 2022, 38% of respondents have mentioned security, 35% immigration, and 24% the fight against terrorism as being the issues that matter the most to them when voting for the first round. The ranking remained, however, dominated by purchasing power (62%) and social welfare (50%), coming in first and second places before security. However, themes such as environment, social inequality, and education ⎼ generally put forward by the left-wing candidates ⎼ fell behind sovereign issues scoring respectively 30%, 29%, and 27%.
Such a trend was already perceptible earlier this year. According to a survey conducted in January 2022 by Opinionway for the Center for Political Research at Sciences Po (CEVIPOF), 63% of French people believe that there is too much immigration in France, and 61% think that Islam represents a threat to the country. Bruno Cautrès, a researcher at the CEVIPOF and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), notes that while the demand for closure has grown stronger this year, the trend has been constantly on the rise. As Bruno Jeanbart, vice-president of Opinionway, has pointed out “security has always been an important concern in the eyes of the public. Despite the ongoing [COVID-19] health crisis, it is enough for candidates to mention the issue for it to come back to the forefront.”
In fact, immigration figures as one of the right and far-right-wing candidates’ major campaign promises: Eric Zemmour (far-right candidate, political party: Reconquête!) pledges zero immigration “to preserve [French] identity.” and to fight against “an explosive crime rate” in France caused by “immigrants or children of immigrants”; Marine Le Pen (far-right candidate, political party: National Rally) promises to “stop uncontrolled immigration” deploring that “today, nothing is easier than to push the door of France: 2000 euros to smugglers, the complicity of subsidized NGOs, a fake tourist visa, an usurped minority, an arranged marriage, a deviated family reunification…”; Valérie Pécresse (right-wing candidate, political party: Les Républicains) claims that “there is a link between immigration, Islamism, terrorism, and insecurity” and pledges as well to “put an end to an uncontrolled immigration.” The centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron has also joined such a move. For his second mandate, he promises to harden the access to residence permits and to dedicate an additional 15 billion euros to the security budget over the five upcoming years ⎼ an increase of nearly 25%, described as “unprecedented” by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin ⎼ if the 2022-2027 Framework Act bill of the Ministry of Interior is adopted by the Council of Ministers in March 2022.
Right-wing candidates having succeeded in placing the security and immigration issues on the political agenda, left-wing candidates have difficulty in putting forward themes on which they would have an advantage. Such a predicament is reflected in the public opinion poll. According to the 2022 presidential election survey conducted by Ipsos and Sopra Steria for CEVIPOF, Le Monde, and Fondation Jean-Jaurès, in March 2022, Anne Hidalgo, the candidate from France’s largest left-wing party Partie Socialiste, scores 2% when asked: “if the first round of the presidential election were held next Sunday, which candidate would you be most likely to vote for in the first round?”. Among left-wing candidates, Fabien Roussel from the French Communist Party (3.5%), Yannick Jadot from the Europe Ecology – The Greens (7%), and Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the radical left-wing party La France Insoumise (14%) are leading over the socialist candidate. Nonetheless, the right is way ahead in the polls. To the same question, the right-wing candidate Valérie Pécresse obtains 10%, just behind the far-right candidate Eric Zemmour who achieves 11.5%. Another far-right candidate Marine Le Pen comes 2nd with 17.5%, entering into a duel with the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron who has made 57%. Accordingly, the last two candidates appear to have the most potential to be in the second round. In fact, according to the same survey mentioned above, 57% of respondents have answered Emmanuel Macron, and 43% Marine Le Pen to the question “if the second round of the presidential election were held next Sunday, which candidate would be most likely to vote for in the second round?”.
Nevertheless, it is too early to predict France in the next five years. For the first round, the score gap between the second-ranked Marine Le Pen and the third-ranked Jean-Luc Mélenchon remains relatively small at 3.5 points. The situation is all the more unpredictable given that the approval rating of Jean-Luc Mélenchon has recorded a significant increase in 2022: scored 8% on January 18, it has increased by 8 points to 14% on March 21.
 N.b. France elects its president using the two-round system : if an absolute majority is obtained at the first round, the election is over; the candidate in question wins the French president’s office. elected. If not, a second round is held between two finalists who have won the most votes.
To learn more : https://www.france24.com/en/france/20220211-explainer-how-does-france-s-two-round-presidential-election-work
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 @GDarmanin. “Comme l’a annoncé le Président de la République, la loi d’orientation et de programmation du ministère de l’Intérieur ajoutera au budget de la sécurité 15 milliards d’euros supplémentaires sur cinq ans…” Twitter, Jan. 10, 2022, https://twitter.com/gdarmanin/status/1480523968411021312
 Cossardeaux, Joël. “Présidentielle : Emmanuel Macron promet 15 milliards d’euros pour remettre la police à nouveau.” (Presidential election: Emmanuel Macron promises 15 billion euros to upgrade the police) Les Echos, Mar. 16, 2022, https://www.lesechos.fr/elections/presidentielle/presidentielle-emmanuel-macron-promet-15-milliards-deuros-pour-remettre-la-police-a-niveau-1393853
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Cover photo : Photograph of the 2022 French presidential election. DemarchesAdministratives.fr, Mar. 15, 2022, https://demarchesadministratives.fr/actualites/les-candidats-les-dates-cles-tout-savoir-sur-la-presidentielle-2022