MEP Yannick Jadot beat “eco-feminist” Sandrine Rousseau by a short head and won the environmentalists’ primary on Tuesday, upholding her favorite status despite the dynamics of her rival.
Yannick Jadot, 54, finally made his favorite status speak by obtaining in the second round 51.03% of some 104,000 votes cast among the 122,670 registered in this online ballot, against 48.97% for his opponent.
This result is undoubtedly a relief for many EELV executives, who rallied to the MEP in the inter-round, believing that he was most likely to make the ecology shine at the presidential election.
The result was announced in a bar-restaurant in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis), where the two finalists are expected in the early evening, after hearing the news from their respective HQ, not far: Yannick Jadot on a barge- bar, Sandrine Rousseau in a solidarity restaurant training people away from employment.
Yannick Jadot now has the challenge of bringing together environmentalists that the first round had roughly divided into four blocks. But also to impose his candidacy within a left already well endowed with aspiring presidents, from the rebellious Jean-Luc Mélenchon to the socialist mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo via the former minister Arnaud Montebourg and the communist Fabien Roussel .
Pragmatism versus radicality
In the first round with 27.7% of the vote, Yannick Jadot was slightly ahead of Sandrine Rousseau (25.14% of the vote). The latter had confirmed its good media momentum by qualifying to the detriment of ex-minister Delphine Batho (22.32%), champion of “degrowth”, and the mayor of Grenoble Eric Piolle (22.29%), who defended a “humanist arc” able to bring together all the forces of the left.
Neither of the two unfortunate challengers had given a voting instruction for the second round, accentuating the suspense on the deferral of votes. Only the entrepreneur Jean-Marc Governatori, last in the first round (2.35%), called to vote for Yannick Jadot.
The two finalists differed in particular on how to bring ecology to power.
Taking a pragmatic line, Yannick Jadot puts forward an ecology of “gathering” and “government”. Opposite, Sandrine Rousseau defended “radicalism” and an ecology “which transforms production models, leaves productivism, of the consumer society”.
In a party adept at reversals, where the favorite rarely wins (Cécile Duflot beaten in 2016, Nicolas Hulot in 2011, …), “very clever one who can make a prognosis”, underlined before the result the environmentalist deputy ex-LREM Matthieu Orphelin, who has always supported Yannick Jadot. But he saw as “a very positive sign all the great voices of ecology who take a stand” for the MEP.
If he felt that Piolle voters were able to vote Yannick Jadot, who took over some of the measures advocated by the mayor of Grenoble, “the real enigma” concerned, according to him, those who voted for Delphine Batho, “a difficult electorate to identify “.
“Bring the environmentalists together”
On paper, Yannick Jadot had more support from EELV executives: the former presidential candidates, Eva Joly and Dominique Voynet, the European deputy Karima Delli, the president of the environmentalist group in the Senate Guillaume Gontard, the ex-LREM deputy Aurélien Taché or the mayor of Bordeaux Pierre Hurmic.
“It necessarily helps even if it will not make the primary”, we explained in the entourage of the MEP, summarizing: “we need an ecology that brings together society, and for that we must start by bringing together environmentalists” .
But Sandrine Rousseau “is not supported by environmentalists, but by people who have the same cause as her,” said the same source. If she wins, “after a month her campaign can explode”, because of the cut with party officials.
The candidate had received the support of feminist figures, such as Paris advisor Alice Coffin and filmmaker Céline Sciamma.
The electoral body of the primary is made up “only of a little more than 12% of members of the environmentalist pole. It is not the rallies of this or that framework who will make the election but the 100,000 people who remain “, analyzed his entourage, believing that” it is a political and strategic error to banish her from the party to save the EELV soldier “.
Both have promised to rally behind the winner.
The result will have a big impact on the left. In particular within the Socialist Party and France Insoumise which hope, each one, to attract the disappointed of the primary. In private, a PS executive tackles “political ecology, an unidentified political object. Whether it is degrowth, woke cooking or managerial ecology, we no longer know very well”.