Those close to him had promised a “real political initiative.” This Monday, November 6, Marion Maréchal, head of the Reconquête list! in the European elections, decided to make his voice heard on the favorite theme of his political family: immigration. She presented, during a press conference, the launch of a “national committee for a referendum on immigration” and an associated website, supposed to collect the signatures of French people supporting this initiative. The date owes nothing to chance: on that day the Senate began examining the Immigration bill brought by the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, the outcome of which remains highly uncertain.
“Immigration is today a central and priority issue for the French,” says Marion Maréchal, citing a litany of opinion surveys. “All the polls show, depending on how the question is asked, that the French are between 60% and 80% wanting a reduction in immigration.” A study particularly struck the vice-president of Eric Zemmour's party: that of the CSA institute, dating from August 2023, which shows that “65% of French people are in favor of a referendum on immigration”. Better: “On the right, there are even 83%, including 77% at LR, 95% at Reconquête, and 96% at RN”.
Marion Maréchal announces that she wants to push for the organization of a Popular Initiative Referendum (RIP), which requires the support of 185 parliamentarians and, above all, the initialing of 4.8 million French people. To date, no RIP has been able to be organized, as the implementation conditions are so drastic. The top of the Reconquest list! do not despair. She called on Jordan Bardella, president of the National Rally (RN), Éric Ciotti, boss of Les Républicains (LR) and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, of Debout la France, to work together. She sent each one a text and a letter.
“All the major political forces on the right seem to agree on the necessity of organizing this referendum,” argues Marion Maréchal. Jordan Bardella, for his part, called for the organization of a referendum on immigration on the same day as the European election, June 9. Finally, Éric Ciotti also had the idea of launching a petition on immigration, with the aim of putting pressure on the government on this subject. It only gathered 15,000 signatures in seven days.
More than the 185 parliamentarians, “the only issue is how to obtain these 4.8 million signatures”, judges Marion Maréchal. Hence the idea of this “committee, which aims to be transpartisan”. “We are lucid, we know today that no political group can claim to gather these signatures alone,” she assures, specifying: “This initiative is intended to be open, we hope that each of the parties which join this committee is free from the methods of collecting these signatures, from the tools they wish to use.”
The example that Marion Maréchal has in mind is the attempt, by left-wing parliamentarians, and some LRs, to organize a popular initiative Referendum on the privatization of Paris Airports. Only a million signatures could be collected.
Marion Maréchal believes she is a little luckier. She thinks that she will be able to take advantage of Emmanuel Macron's change of footing, which puts on the table the question of a possible referendum on immigration, and even a popular initiative Referendum with relaxed terms.