The subjects of divisions are multiplying in France, and the French feel it well. While the pension reform fuels the political debate, triggering strikes, demonstrations and fiery parliamentary debates, several polls carried out by Opinionway (1) for We will have tried everything…, the latest book by political scientist Chloé Morin (2), show the vision alarming that a large majority of French people have of French society.
In her book, this specialist in the analysis of public opinion wonders: “Has France become ungovernable? In view of the divisions perceived by the French, one would be tempted to answer in the affirmative. Thus, nine out of ten French people think that the country is socially divided, between rich and poor and between “precarious jobs” and “protected jobs”. We find the same proportion of pessimists regarding political divisions, regardless of the ideology and social background of the respondents. On the cultural and religious level, their number is barely decreasing: 85% of French people find the country dislocated on these issues. “In total, eight out of ten French people believe that our country is deeply divided on these three areas at the same time”, writes Chloé Morin.
A divide between reformers and conservatives
What could be done to fix it ? Here again, opinions diverge and “two camps face each other”, the reformers and the conservatives. The former, in the majority (55%), want to “transform France in depth to adapt it to the changing world”. These are more often middle-aged workers, rather rich and educated, live in the city, vote for social democratic ideas.
They oppose those who want to “preserve France as it is to protect its identity in the face of a changing world”, i.e. people who are rather younger or older, more rural, less educated and more modest, and voters of the traditional right and the extreme right. Portrait of a “country cut in two”, “with on one side, citizens who prosper and dream of a new world, facing all those who see their social situation threatened and express their concern”, analyzes the political scientist.
This frontal opposition does not benefit any current political party. Not one, from rebellious France to the National Rally via Renaissance, won a majority of French people believing that they “can vote for him”. When asked what training would be the most effective to “protect the interests of people like them”, only the RN floats, however only bringing together one in five French people (22%). Only 13% are convinced by the presidential party, 12% by LFI, then only 9% by the Greens and the Republicans and 7% by the socialist party.
Political figures, first responsible
When it comes to designating the culprits – 2 possible answers from a list of 6 choices – the people surveyed are much less divided. For 76% of them, “the politicians” are the main responsible for the French torments. A proportion which increased by 11 points between July 2022 and January 2023. Behind, it is “the richest” who are singled out, for 30% of French people, a stable proportion, like that of the French (18%) who blame “the media”. Behind, we find “unions” (16%) then “foreigners” (14%). Only 6% of respondents do not accuse “none of those”.
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