Campaign in the middle of the desert. The candidates in the partial legislative elections which are currently taking place in three constituencies of Charente, Marne and Pas-de-Calais do not escape the invisibility of these elections which are held outside national deadlines. Only a small minority of voters went to the polls, Sunday January 21, for the first round. Turnout has peaked at 29%, 24% and 30% respectively and is unlikely to be higher in the second round next Sunday.
It is unfortunately a great classic of the elections organized after a resignation or an invalidation of the ballot by the Constitutional Council, as is the case for these three elections. For the record, the UDI candidate from Indre-et-Loire, Sophie Métadier, was elected in June 2021 by only 18% of registered voters and the socialist Lamia El Aaraje by 15% of Parisians in the 15th district.
“It’s very unpleasant, especially when you give everything you can,” testifies the former socialist deputy Francis Chouat. After the resignation of the deputy of Essonne Manuel Valls, he succeeded him, in September 2018, at the end of a ghost campaign. Only 18% of those registered had traveled, ie 6,570 citizens out of 72,227! “We avoid public meetings which do not attract anyone, remembers the elected official. We go door-to-door, we make the markets. People are nice, say they’ll come to vote, but you can tell they’re not up to it. »
The absence of a national issue means that most are even unaware of the holding of the ballot, which also ignores the media. The news is elsewhere. These days, pension reform is the focus of all attention. This climate of indifference rather benefits the outgoing, as was the case on Sunday. In the 1st district of Charente, the candidate of the presidential majority (Horizons) Thomas Mesnier is ahead of the Insoumis René Pilato, by only 42 votes. Last June, he had a 1,184 vote lead over the same opponent on the evening of the first round. The victory will be played in a handkerchief.
In the 2nd district of the Marne, the outgoing National Rally (RN) deputy Anne-Sophie Frigout also comes in first place. But with 34.80% of the vote, it improves its June score by nearly 13 points. In the 8th district of Pas-de-Calais, finally, Bertrand Petit (related PS) turns very largely in the lead with 46% of the votes against RN Auguste Evrard (25%). For Francis Chouat, who remains municipal councilor of Évry (Essonne), the case of the partial legislative elections is only one aspect of the vast problem of the crisis of representative democracy.
Legislative after legislative, participation is eroding, especially in working-class neighborhoods. In the district of Évry, 80% of voters voted last year for president but less than 50% took part in the legislative elections that followed. “We have an Assembly that is less and less representative of the population,” worries Francis Chouat.
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