To avoid clashing, Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella chose to indulge in confidences separately this Saturday, September 16 in the morning. The exercise, popular since the presidential campaign by the former, consists of devoting a little time to journalists, dressed in jeans and wearing a simple bun, at the dawn of major political meetings. A form of warm-up, a casual word, before the evening meeting, like the one that the headliners of the National Rally held in the Beaucaire arenas this Saturday, in the Gard.

Once that was done, she let Jordan Bardella play the same game later in the morning. Before joining him and participating in the conversation, in a Beaucair inn. It was enough, however, for her to speak, in a deliberately soft and calm voice, for her younger brother to step back. “There’s a lot of respect from Jordan for Marine, it’s logical. He is not here to take his place, even if he has already learned a lot,” slips a southern elected official.

The converse is true. The double finalist in the presidential election does not hide her pleasure at having dubbed the “lion cub” Bardella. To have succeeded in imposing him in the 2019 European elections, a winning bet, then to have left him with the keys to the party a year ago, even if it meant beating Louis Aliot without contest, former companion of the one that the sailors sometimes nicknamed “Queen Marine “. Since then, the 28-year-old has done the dirty work within a party where the ambitions of each side have always created conflicts and splits, sometimes spectacular.

To the point that even his former internal competitors see him as a credible runner-up. “There is complementarity with Jordan,” repeats Marine Le Pen, while specifying: I didn’t do it. I just gave him the opportunity to show what he can do. And he is capable of a lot. If I had wanted to remain president of the RN, I would have remained so. I know it’s annoying, but it’ll work like this. »

A way to cut short those who see a flaw in the duo. And possible adversity in the Elysian perspective of 2027. By inviting Jordan Bardella with the party leaders to Saint-Denis at the beginning of September and by sending out some laudatory messages, Emmanuel Macron thus tried to drive a wedge. Wasted effort ? “We are complementary, but I only see a stateswoman,” insists the head of the National Rally, while taking care to highlight her more right-wing and identity-based profile than Marine Le Pen.

“We should marry them because they look so good together, but it’s still Marine who wears the pants,” image Mylène, an activist from Nîmes who came to attend the meeting. “Yes, well, little Jordan is growing up quickly and I think he has the shoulders to take the lead,” says Mickaël, his companion, works manager. Jean-Marie had built everything, but he had difficulty making room. We should be careful not to do the same stupid things again. »

At the party, no one wants to comment on this music. “In this permanent campaign, we will do everything to maintain duality and complementarity,” slips someone close to the RN executive. Even if it means emphasizing certain nuances between Le Pen and Bardella, the better to reach out to voters who are hesitant, particularly on the right. Thus, even if he affirms “differences” with Reconquête!, a formation that he considers “monothematic” and whose “excesses” he reproaches, Jordan Bardella assumes to “share observations” with Éric Zemmour and Marion Maréchal, a competitor in the form of a thorn in the side in the European spring 2024. “I do not despair of seeing all the patriots return to the camp of those who can win. Including the presidential election,” underlines the one who is preparing a “opening and renewal” list.

His opponent, we understood, is “not Marion Maréchal, but abstention”. By positioning himself in this way, the one who has every chance of being Marine Le Pen’s Prime Minister if she wins in 2027 is already planning on forming a government. Even in the event of victory at the Élysée, the RN will not necessarily have a parliamentary majority afterwards. It is therefore already a question of thinking broadly. “We are becoming a mass party that goes beyond divisions,” he assures us, wanting to “bring in specialists, we will need them for the ministries and state secretariats.”

The idea does not displease Marine Le Pen. But she prefers to see beyond that. In the distribution of roles that they have assigned to themselves, Jordan Bardella must continue to manage the troops and the internal kitchen, while speaking out on internal affairs, purchasing power and security. It has supranational aims on immigration or Europe. This is how she chose to launch, on Friday, a “declaration for the rights of nations and peoples”. It aims, she explains, “to preserve the fundamental rights of peoples, flouted by supranational organizations, such as the European Commission with its exorbitant injunctions or the World Trade Organization, but also by large commercial companies, such as Gafam. , which have their headquarters in Anglo-Saxon countries”.

She concedes that it will be difficult for her to pass the text she has written and hopes for “the help of the political groups in the European Parliament”. In the meantime, it intends to submit “a constitutional bill” to this effect in the National Assembly. But she does not know when, the RN’s parliamentary niche, scheduled for October 12, already being taken up by other subjects.

She has time, though. The objective, for the one who is to meet this Sunday Matteo Salvini, the vice-president of the Italian Council of Ministers, very close to Milan, is to display a “positive” stature as head of state in the perspective of 2027. She therefore plans to take advantage of the coming years to travel and spread the message. A form of slow march which coincides with what often appears as a withdrawal from national political life.

For once, moreover, it was not she who was entitled to the musical flights and the tide of flags, but her runner-up. After all, since it was about launching the campaign for the European elections in June 2024, we might as well reserve the star-studded carpet for the head of the RN list. But seeing Marine Le Pen waiting for him, discreetly seated in the front row, indicates a major handover. Even if it closed the speeches under the “Presidential Navy”, this return confirmed a strategy: that of a Le Pen-Bardella ticket to which we will have to get used. Beyond the European deadline, where RN and Renaissance will be, as in 2019, neck and neck.