Senator Herve Marcel, who was elected as the head of UDI, intends to defend the “independence” of his party.

LRs aren’t the only ones to elect their new president this weekend. UDI as well. But there was less doubt. It is not surprising that Herve Marcel, the president of the centrist Union of the Senate group, was elected the president of the Union of Independent Democrats at the congress of the Union of Independent Democrats … with 93.39% of the votes. He was the only candidate to garner the necessary sponsorship to take over from Jean-Christophe Lagarde, who lost legislative elections in June and is facing legal trouble.

Herve Marseille masters the secrets of politics… like imitations

The election of Herve Marcel as head of the UDI confirms that the centrist formation is a party of elected officials. His career speaks for itself. Since 2011, Senator of Hauts-de-Seine, Hervé Marcel has been the mayor of Meudon for 18 years, as well as departmental and regional councilor. Today, the structure “has about 250 mayors, 150 regional councilors, 250 departmental councilors, six deputies and about thirty parliamentarians in the Senate within the centrist Union group”, details the new president, who ensures the functioning of Figaro in a few months.

Very reserved and little known to the general public, Herve Marcel is well versed in the secrets of politics and parliament. Quiet discussions within the thick walls of the Luxembourg palace could have strengthened his ability to master the codes. Not to mention his talents as an impersonator, especially former presidents – which he occasionally displays to the amused gaze of dinner guests.

“There are different sensitivities within UDI”

One of the challenges ahead for Hervé Marseille will be his party line. If his centrist Unity group forms a senatorial majority with the LR group, the number of elected UDI will increasingly turn to Emmanuel Macron. Among the 57 senators of the UC group (which also includes other members of the centrist galaxy such as the New Center, Modem and the Centrist Alliance), 8 sponsored the head of state in the presidential elections, and in June 2019, 23 senators of the Group, partially renewed since then, even Eduard He gave a vote of confidence to Philippe, 28 abstained.

In short, the heart of the UDI is swinging between the opposition and the union with Macron. “There are different sensitivities within UDI. Some people think that we are in the opposition and we should stay there. Others see solutions in an agreement with the presidential majority,” the new head of the centrist party explained to the daily. At, Hervé Marseille makes his point clear with this touch of humor that characterizes him:

Centrism is an art. Centrist diaspora, we spend our time cultivating people who belong to other people. You must have a well-developed sense of balance!

“We are responsible, we vote on texts when we have to vote”

So where is UDI? “We are in the opposition, but we are independent. Today we are responsible because, like others, we vote on texts when we have to vote, because the population has expectations about purchasing power, energy issues or social problems,” explained Hervé in the Marseille Parlament Hebdo. , about the Public Senate and LCP-AN. see:

UDI: “We are in opposition but independent,” says Hervé Marseille

This freedom, which is not new, has been strengthened after the re-election of Emmanuel Macron and the context of a relative majority in the Assembly. In the Senate, we have seen LRs and centrists repeatedly oppose renewable energies, super profits, increasing the RSA, CVAE or the TV license fee. To the point that the situation creates tension within the majority of senators. “There are no human deaths,” the head of the central group told us.

Read also » In the Senate, a zone of confusion between LRs and centrists

“A right that closes itself, looks to the right, or has partners? »

The outcome of the internal battle at LR, which will decide between Eric Ciotti and Bruno Retailleau, will not be inconclusive for the future. “Do LRs want to have partners? – asks Herve Marcel. Understand, centrist partners. “We will see the political line that will be determined by the next direction of LR. LRs are trying to see what kind of right will lead the movement. Nice or Vendée right? I don’t know if this is a self-absorbed, right-wing right, or if it has partners, and how is it going to have a majority in the Assembly in 2023? – asks the new president of UDI, who is “waiting to lead”. In other words, if the LR forgets the center right, nature abhors a vacuum, the UDI will tend to look elsewhere, in this case more towards the presidential camp.

“There shouldn’t be too much drift, because otherwise it will be a right-to-right movement,” adds Hervé Marseille:

I’ve always heard Gerard Larcher talk about the fusion of the right with the center. I wouldn’t want it to be a conflation of right with right, that’s all.

LR’s inconclusive evolution in the Senate. For now, Herve Marseille assures Le Figaro that “most of the senators have no problem. We cooperate with the LR group and others under the leadership of Gérard Larcher.”

“I still note that we are the only ones without people in the government”

Still, the senator believes that “2023 will have to show the ability of political parties to find solutions. This is what the French are waiting for.” Until one day be part of the government? LR senators think that their centrist colleagues are very polite and invite themselves to ministries.

For his part, Hervé Marseille notes that “within the government there are people from all kinds of parties, except for the UDI”. “When some accuse us of collaborating, if I may say so, very openly, with the presidential majority, I nevertheless point out that there are no people in the government,” says the elected representative of the Hauts-of-Seine. . In other words, this would prove that UDI is not so close to the executive power, as some people believe.

Senators in the firing line

After the legislative elections, in which the UDI went with its traditional ally, the LR, but “negotiations were unbalanced. We have not felt a very clear desire to cooperate, “screams Hervé Marseille today, the next vote will be the senatorial elections in September 2023. Half of the seats are at stake. Could there be LR-UDI news? contracts? “We will talk about it when the time comes” fumes the new UDI strongman. Hervé Marseille reminds us that “senatorship elections are almost as much situational as departmental elections. In the interest of each institution, it is better to leave it separately on this ballot, where sometimes the electors are the ones who elect the senators.

It will be necessary to include the party of Edouard Philippe, who is 7 of the 14 senators of the “Les Indépendants” group and will present its candidates for the senatorial elections, into the “Horizons” equation. With a local construction strategy, with town halls such as Nice, Angers, Reims, Fontainebleau, without forgetting Le Havre of course, Horizons will certainly make seats. Will he cut the membership of the centrist Union group by bringing in some members? “The senators in my group are free people, they are quite tall,” said Hervé Marseille, “and the senators are in September, which means they are forever.” The multi-senator wisdom of the elected Ile-de-France will surely be useful to Herve Marseille to lead the UDI.

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