Four young French politicians are leading the Republican front against Le Pen

A mood of change is taking hold in France as the moment of truth approaches. These are not scientific data and pollsters repeat time and again that everything depends on the attitude of voters this Sunday during the second round of the legislative elections, whether or not they follow the Republican vote, but there are beginning to be signs that France could dodge Marine Le Pen with a sharp turn in the final curve. A latest projection by the BFM television channel gives the far right the victory with a majority of up to 220 seats, which would be almost 60 short of the absolute majority.

The Republican front is said to be operating in many constituencies across the country, the street protests against the National Rally (RN) and a certain sense of calm in some sectors contrast with the appearance of nervousness in the far right.

On Wednesday evening, in a rare and unusual move, Le Pen’s young successor, Jordan Bardellaseemed overwhelmed on BFM television when interviewers brought up the list of “black sheep” on the RN lists. A candidate with an anti-Semitic past, just as many anti-vaxxers and even one, Ludivine Daoudithe candidate for Caen, who had to withdraw after a photograph of her wearing a Nazi cap was published. “Four or five casting errors,” Bardella justified herself, but the atmosphere is no longer as favourable as it was at the beginning of the week. Day by day, the picture of this frenetic campaign is changing. Partly because there are countervailing powers, such as the press, which these days are doing their job: investigating the past of some candidates on the far-right lists who are now causing a real problem for Le Pen and Bardella.

The other factor, no less important, is the spirit in the face of what many believed would no longer work: the Republican front. Four young faces are leading and renewing it, but without starting from scratch, that is, taking over their political formations to revitalize them and unite in what seems complicated: to conjure up an XXL coalition that would be an alternative to Le Pen. It is surely something utopian that next Monday seems unrealizable, but it has awakened a certain hope in a frustrated voter who already seemed condemned to accept that Le Pen, now for sure, was going to come to power in France.

The breakout star of the campaign for this Republican front is undoubtedly Marine Tondelierthe new ecologist leader. She has the credentials to be one. She comes from Henin-Beaumont, which for so many years was Le Pen’s fiefdom in northern France and her so-called laboratory. She knows RN’s strategy on the ground and knows how to enter into hand-to-hand combat with the leaders of the extreme right, as well as being a face of renewal in a left often condemned to follow in the footsteps of the radical leftist. Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

It was precisely within his party, La France Insoumise, that a kind of civil war had been launched to wipe out the traces of anti-Semitism and sectarianism so often promoted by Mélenchon. The face of renewal is that of François Ruffina 48-year-old journalist who leads the critical wing against the hitherto leader of the radical left.

Something similar, but more subtle, is happening under Macronism. The hypothesis –until now far-fetched– that Gabriel Attal The Frenchman who could continue as Prime Minister from Monday onwards is no longer the case. A poll published on Monday evening by the LCI channel indicates that he is the favourite of the French people. His gestures to the left, his outstretched hand and his image, much less arrogant than that of the President, are believed to be well received by public opinion, which believes that the participation of the centre is necessary in the political future of the country.

To these three names we must add that of MEP Raphael Glucksmann, who embodies the renewal of social democracy and had a good result in the European elections by resurrecting the Socialist Party (PS).

These four faces (Tondelier, Ruffin, Attal and Glucksmann) and the result of what may come out of their combinations and negotiations may have a lot to do with the approach of an alternative political project to Le Pen and Bardella. It is probably utopian and nothing concrete will come out of their outstretched hands, but the enthusiasm they arouse in the Republican voter seems to translate into enough to achieve the main objective for which they have come together in this union in extremis: to remove Le Pen from power. Monday will be another day.