November 27, 2021

Hunters, a priority target for presidential candidates

This is unexpected. Hunting once again becomes an element of the political divide five months before the presidential election. The recent accidents have put the spotlight on a practice which brings together a little more than a million people, holders of the hunting license; even if this figure, given by the National Federation of Hunters, is that before the Covid-19 pandemic, it shows that it remains popular in France. But that it also meets a frank opposition: Friday, November 12, the petition “Deaths, violence and abuses linked to hunting: never again!” », Posted on September 10 on the Senate website, has exceeded 100,000 signatures.

While the fragmentation of the political offer sees several candidates in a pocket handkerchief – on the far right, Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, but also potentially the one who will represent Les Républicains (LR) -, the hunters are a Priority “target”, which can earn the few points necessary for qualifying in the second round.

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Especially since they should not have a candidate from their ranks. The boss of the hunters, Willy Schraen, hesitated to take the plunge before passing his turn. “Hunting, like ecology, should not give birth to a political party. But if the attacks continue to be so violent, the entire rural electorate will mobilize against the extremists of radical ecology ”, he explained, on November 14, in Sunday Newspaper. Contacted, he did not respond to our requests.

France has a specificity: a party from the world of hunting. Hunting, fishing, nature and traditions (CPNT) – which became Le Mouvement de la ruralité, in 2019 – even presented candidates in 2002 and 2007. During this first ballot, Jean Saint-Josse had created a surprise, with 4.23 % of votes. His successor, Frédéric Nihous, will do much less well, five years later, with 1.15% of the vote. Since then, the small formation has allied itself first with the movement of Philippe de Villiers, then with the UMP (ancestor of LR), and has gradually disappeared, allowing other parties to appropriate this theme.

Divide in all political families

Should we believe, however, that hunters are a reserve of votes for the right? ” Not necessarily “, answers Jérôme Fourquet, director of the opinion department of the FIFG. In 2020, the institute analyzed the profile and the vote of hunters in France based in particular on the presidential vote in 2017. There is certainly a “bonus” for the LR candidate at the time, François Fillon (24.7% against 20.01% for all voters), and for Marine Le Pen (26% against 21.3%). But there is also an overstep for Emmanuel Macron (25% against 24.01%). Jean-Luc Mélenchon still convinced 16.7% of hunters, for an overall score of 19.6%. The idea that the hunters would necessarily be right-wing or far-right is therefore undermined.

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