Rhône: faced with the decline of LREM, the hunt for abstainers is open

Rhône: faced with the decline of LREM, the hunt for abstainers is open

“Are you going to vote on Sunday?” The young environmentalist candidate Marie-Charlotte Garin, who came out ahead in the first round in the 3rd constituency of the Rhône under the Nupes banner, crisscrossed the field to “mobilize voters” and win her first term as a deputy.

She is 26 years old, she got involved in the legislative elections “because there are not enough young people or women in the Assembly”, she “had no expectations so as not to be disappointed “and she was fifteen points ahead of the LREM candidate, Sarah Peillon, 41, including twenty of militant commitment.

In the first round, the one who started in the humanitarian field and claims to be from the “climate generation” obtained 18,283 votes, while 11,835 voters voted for the parliamentary assistant of the outgoing deputy – a Lyon figure who retired from politics after fifteen years term of office as a deputy.

This result dominates the local scores of the Nupes which qualified everywhere in the Rhône, facing a presidential majority in ebb, after the Macron wave which had allowed LREM to win 12 of the 14 constituencies in 2017.

After having lost a constituency in the first round, the presidential party is on an unfavorable ballot in five others, including the 3rd which brings together both very affluent districts of Lyon and others marked by great precariousness.

The LREM candidate says she is “rather happy” with her first round, marked according to her by a “trompe-l’oeil effect” of the Nupes: “they could have won in the first round, but when we add up the votes, we find the usual score of the united left, we see that there is no ripple effect”, she affirms, estimating that the union of the left has “few reserves of votes”.

Marie-Charlotte Garin, speaks of “new hope”: “the union has brought us people who were not political activists, with many volunteers who do not come from the parties”.

A dozen assistants, all in the same age group except for a forty-year-old woman with a “refractory Gaulish” headband on her forehead, tow alongside her on the popular market that she was surveying that day.

– “Hair” –

Objective: “to seek out the abstainers, to convince them that the elections have a meaning and are useful for something, to convince them that we can make a difference” in a constituency where less than 58% of the voters moved last Sunday.

“Green people, yes, why not? But not the hairy ones or those who want electric batteries everywhere”, says a mother who came to do her shopping with her stroller.

The first subject of concern is “purchasing power”, because “people cannot make ends meet”, according to the young ecologist who made “10,000 door-to-door visits “in less than a month.

Marie Charlotte Garin during a photo session in Aubervilliers in Seine-Saint-Denis, May 7, 2022 (AFP/Archives – JULIEN DE ROSA)

Sarah Peillon made “nearly 3000”. “With the heat, door-to-door is complicated, people are not at home,” says the former regional councilor appointed LREM referent for the metropolis of Lyon in September 2021.

Like the other candidates, the 40-year-old concentrates on her field program in the early morning and at the end of the day when the thermometer breaks seasonal records.

“Some do not know that there was the first round, others did not look at the results, we still have voice reserves”, affirms the one who portrays herself “as a challenger” in a constituency where, according to her, “no one fought” to represent the presidential majority.

“It smells bad for Sunday, really bad, we’ve never seen so many leftists,” says a white-haired “admirer” who came to greet her and “encourage” her.

That day, the LREM candidate tows on a market, in a neighborhood of retirees: “it votes well here, there is no secret: the average age is quite high”.


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