Opposition to the reform is confirmed but benefits no one

Réforme des retraites : Elisabeth Borne figure face à l'opposition

Supporters of the pension reform are losing with public opinion, but opponents are unable to capitalize on this popular opposition.

Once a month, Mascaret (formerly Dentsu Consulting) and its partner ODOXA offer you a Political Barometer to take the temperature of public opinion. This month, the opposition to the reform is confirmed but does not benefit anyone. Watch the exclusive Eye of the Expert by Benjamin Grange and Yves Censi :

Emmanuel Macron impassive and silent in the face of social discontent: an unpopular and costly strategy for him and the Government

The strategy of the President of the Republic is confirmed: faced with the opposition to the pension reform, he is playing the fait accompli. Although he remains a strong symbol, he speaks very little on the subject. The mentions and commitments around his personality are in sharp decline (-20% and -15% respectively) and if his peaks of media coverage are around this controversial project, it is without intervention from him. In order to be in line with the president, Elisabeth Borne and her government are paying the price. Her statements are very badly received: when she says that the postponement of the retirement age “is no longer negotiable”, she reaches a record 80% of negative sentiment! The same is true for Olivier Dussopt, Olivier Véran or Bruno Le Maire, who are not spared by the opinion and whose strong presence in the media this month is costing them dearly. Except for one event that has been much talked about and that has seduced the public: the awarding of the Legion of Honor to Volodymyr Zelensky at the Élysée Palace on February 9. With 120,000 mentions and almost a million engagements (likes, shares, comments, etc.), the moment caused a strong reaction on social networks.

Facing the Government, the rise of a grassroots protest to the reform is growing…

Political activity is picking up in force: +47% of mentions on average over the month and +135% of commitments! That is to say that the political staff expresses itself more, that the media takes over more political information, but above all that the Internet users seize much more the debates, the pension reform being obviously the main subject of these conversations.

… But the hope of recovering the fruits of the anti-reform mobilization is fading from all political formations

Whether it is the government or the opposition, no one is gathering popular support. The political opponents are struggling to mobilize: Marine Le Pen stood back to dodge Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the Élysée Palace (see graphs), while Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who would certainly have liked to embody the opposition to the reform, saw his main peak of mentions – and by far, 77,000 mentions – concern… an eventful interview on BFM TV. Faced with the journalist Maxime Switek, he even ends up leaving the set.

LR: Eric Ciotti much more criticized for his support for Emmanuel Macron than approved for the ideological consistency claimed by the party

For their part, the Republicans are caught in the divide that saw Aurelien Pradié be ousted from his position as number 2 of the party because of his criticism of this same reform. A decision of Eric Ciotti that the opinion has not really approved.

Find the full barometer below or on the Odoxa website!

Photo credit: Grenoble demonstration (pension reform) of February 07, 2023 by Jean-Paul Corlin, Creative Commons.