The day has barely broken in Paris, official cars tumble into the courtyard of 55 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to drop off Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt, President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun- Pivet or even the boss of the MoDem François Bayrou.
When the leader of the Renaissance deputies, Aurore Bergé, delayed by an interview on the set of CNews, arrives at a run a few moments later, the main protagonists of this crucial day are all gathered around Emmanuel Macron for a first crisis meeting.
All that's missing is the Horizons leader, Edouard Philippe, who connects by video from India where he is on the move.
49.3 or uncertain vote in the Assembly, particularly given the divisions within the Republicans?
The countdown begins, the counts of votes follow each other and contradict each other on the expected result: "some guys say that it does not pass in any case, others stubbornly maintain the opposite", confides to AFP a framework of the majority.
At this time of the day, it passes: "the ultra-dominant position" is in favor of the reform being put to the vote, whispers another leader of the majority, when the doors of the court open and the participants resume their scheduled activities. Emmanuel Macron, he goes to the Quai d'Orsay.
Olivier Dussopt and Gabriel Attal cross the capital with sidewalks cluttered with waste for the first highlight of the day: the vote in the Senate, dominated by the right. A formality, even if it does not escape the executive that six elected LRs voted against and 19 abstained.
Can the executive trust the right to get the votes it lacks in the Assembly? "We are in the Retailleau doctrine: roulette or big Bertha", answers one of the executives of the majority.
Return trips to the Elysée
In the vicinity of the Elysée, at noon, the sirens sound again, but this time, it is the Minister of Defense Sébastien Lecornu who climbs the steps of the porch, followed by that of the Economy Bruno Le Maire , sparking speculation that an extraordinary Council of Ministers will be held to resort to 49.3.
It is not so: tenors of the presidential majority arrive for a second crisis meeting, which reviews the latest scores in the Assembly. A "big game of lying poker", sums up an opposition official.
In the courtyard, a car slips by before the end of the meeting and drops off a person totally outside the discussions: the CEO of the pharmaceutical group Sanofi, Paul Hudson, who has an appointment with the Head of State for lunch.
In a concert of sirens, the cars leave. Then come back with a bang an hour later for a third crisis meeting, while the CEO of Sanofi abandons the Elysée.
Meanwhile, the morning optimism seems to be dissipating, information is circulating on the Prime Minister who, starting from the observation that the majority is not assured, would lean more and more for 49.3.
At 14:40 p.m., barely twenty minutes before the scheduled start of the vote in the Assembly, the leaders of the majority left the Elysée and left the members of the government in conclave. It is the white smoke that announces an extraordinary Council of Ministers and the imminent recourse to 49.3.
Journalists' phones begin to vibrate. Their sources confirm the choice of the constitutional weapon to avoid a high-risk vote.
Marseillaise at the Assembly
Elisabeth Borne gets into a car, crosses the Seine, towards the National Assembly where an imposing security service is deployed.
A few hours earlier, the union leaders had gathered in front of the Palais Bourbon to urge the deputies not to approve the reform.
Shortly after 15:00 p.m., the head of government goes up to the podium of the National Assembly and tries to speak.
She has to try twice as the din is deafening.
Standing, the deputies of La France insoumise brandish signs "64 years is no" and chain the Marseillaise, joined by other elected officials from the left and those of the National Rally.
After a brief suspension of the session, faced with a still tumultuous Assembly and rebellious deputies who continue to sing the Marseillaise, the head of government raises her voice.
On the bench of ministers, the Keeper of the Seals Eric Dupond-Moretti takes Olivier Dussopt by the shoulder to support him.
15:20 p.m.: Elisabeth Borne formally announces the use of 49.3 under the boos of the opposition.
At the Elysée, as if nothing had happened, Emmanuel Macron continues his program and receives the president of COP28 Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber.