The end of a story or the start of a new one? Emmanuel Macron announced this Friday morning, in a press release, the departure of his Prime Minister Édouard Philippe de Matignon. The Head of State therefore signs the end of three years of collaboration with the juppeist. A way of activating the "new path" that he promises to the French to get out of the crisis and succeed at best the last two years of the quinquennium. In this context, what will be the future of the now ex-prime minister?
"My goal is to be mayor of Le Havre"
From this weekend, Édouard Philippe will again become mayor of Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), his stronghold, on the occasion of the municipal council scheduled for Sunday. He was easily re-elected last week, in the second round of the municipal elections, with more than 58% of the vote against the communist candidate Jean-Paul Lecoq (41%). The juppeist will therefore find the chair he occupied between 2010 and 2017.
At the time, 10 years ago, Édouard Philippe was thrown into the chair of the first councilor thanks to the resignation of Antoine Rufenacht, mayor since 1995 and mentor of the future prime minister. He was then re-elected in 2014, then he remained in place until his appointment to Matignon. His resignation from the government precipitated his return to the port city. During the last televised debate organized just before the first round, Édouard Philippe had already launched some warning signs. “ My goal is to be mayor of Le Havre, quickly, it can happen very quickly. If it happens very quickly, it will be fine, that's it, "he said.
Philippe could grab a space on the right
And then ? Some already lend the former prime minister more national ambitions. Édouard Philippe indeed leaves Matignon with a good popularity rating. According to the Kantar- Figaro Magazine barometer unveiled on Thursday, the Prime Minister continued his progression in July with 40% favorable opinions, ie 15 points more compared to February. An unprecedented progression, and especially far ahead of Emmanuel Macron, given at 33% in July.
If Emmanuel Macron's choice is based on a profile marked on the left, to embody his social and ecological turn, Édouard Philippe could take the opportunity to seize the space on the right. Certainly reinvigorated from the municipal elections, The Republicans remain indeed convalescent since their failures in the presidential and European elections. Above all, from Xavier Bertrand to Laurent Wauquiez via Valérie Pécresse, none of the potential contenders enjoys a popularity comparable to that of the resigning Prime Minister.