But where do the sponsorships of the 12 presidential candidates come from? To answer this question, we matched the 2022 sponsorship file with that of five years ago. First observation: half of this year’s sponsorship is from elected officials who had not sponsored anyone in 2017.
>> INFOGRAPHICS. The Composite Portrait of the Godfathers of 2022
A renewal of sponsorships that can be explained by the fact that one in two 2017 sponsors lost the opportunity to sign this year, either because they are no longer elected or because they have been elected to positions that are not make it possible to support one’s candidacy (in opposition to, for example, a city council).
What takes shape is mainly the strength of the traditional parties. Indeed, Anne Hidalgo has received 568 sponsorships from Benoît Hamon, Valérie Pécresse 946 signatures from François Fillon. So the Socialist Party and Republican candidates would not have had to convince new elected officials to qualify. “It’s a way for parties to show that they still exist”, analyzes political scientist Jessica Sainty. Conversely, it was for Yannick Jadot that the road was the longest: the environmental candidate only received 134 sponsorship money back from 2017. And so he had to collect the signatures of 578 elected officials who had not sponsored in 2017.
First right, François Fillon’s sponsorship moves very well underline the difficulties of the Republicans. While of course a large proportion of the elected officials followed Valérie Pécresse, 81 of François Fillon’s sponsors chose this year to support Éric Zemmour’s candidacy. This still represents one in ten sponsors of the Reconquest candidate! And 80 others followed Emmanuel Macron, and this is indeed the symbol of a prejudice between La République and Marche and the far right.
On the left, it is around Jean-Luc Mélenchon that things have moved. The lack of support from the Communist Party made the need to collect 500 signatures much more difficult for the insurgent candidate: of the 400 sponsors of Jean-Luc Mélenchon who sponsored someone again this year, one in four preferred Fabien Roussel.
Two elected officials made the splits, sponsoring Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2017 and Éric Zemmour in 2022. “I will not tolerate candidates who represent 10 to 15% of the opinion are not candidates when bad guys like Anne Hidalgo, who represent 2%, have easy sponsorship. It’s not consistent.”, according to one of these two elected officials, Jean-Luc Issanchou, mayor of a town in Tarn-et-Garonne, Belbèze-en-Lomagne. Elected for over twenty years, he assures: “sponsor another candidate” at every election and denounces the elected “who have not adopted” the “privilege” that they should be able to sponsor someone.
Final lesson: 2,000 sponsors from 2017 could sponsor someone again this year and didn’t. It would be necessary to query all of them individually to know the exact reasons for this, but some trends can be identified. On the one hand, pressure from some elected officials and sponsorship advertising may have held back some local elected officials. On the other hand, the difficulties of one political camp or the other have discouraged others: 630 sponsors of François Fillon have thus failed this year, despite the candidacy of Valérie Pécresse.
Same on the left, where Anne Hidalgo misplaces 200 sponsors. Benoît Tirant, regional councilor for New Aquitaine, is a good illustration of these left-wing tensions. The former member of the Socialist Party would have liked to sponsor “a leftist rally candidacy”† Seeing that things weren’t going well, he wondered for a while if he could support Hélène Thouy, the Animalist Party candidate who hadn’t collected enough signatures to continue the adventure. “But I’m not totally against hunting, I’m surrounded by hunters at the Regional Council”explains the chosen one.
Would he have sponsored it if the signatures weren’t public? “Yessays Benoît Tirant. It’s about giving a voice to the debate, and it’s seen as support. It creates difficulties.” This will get the debates going again in five years, for the next presidential term.