“Her name will not be enough, on the contrary”: in Calvados, the candidacy of Élisabeth Borne could end up as a surprise at the ballot boxes

“Her name will not be enough, on the contrary”: in Calvados, the candidacy of Élisabeth Borne could end up as a surprise at the ballot boxes
“Her name will not be enough, on the contrary”: in Calvados, the candidacy of Élisabeth Borne could end up as a surprise at the ballot boxes

On the campaign signs in Vire Normandy (Calvados), on the eve of summer, only two faces appear: those of Noé Gauchard (New Popular Front) and Pascale Georget (Workers’ Struggle). The campaign for the legislative elections of June 30 and July 7, 2024 is starting slowly in the main town of the sixth constituency of Calvados. Even if it has a symbolic candidate from the presidential majority: Élisabeth Borne, former Prime Minister and outgoing MP. In June 2022, she was sent here to secure her ticket for Matignon in the rural polls, even though she had been appointed Prime Minister a month earlier, following the presidential election. Two years later, she is no longer Prime Minister, but she is running again.

“She was in Vire these days. We bumped into each other when I left my agency,” says a resident with a smile. And to describe a small paradox: “When we hear about her, it’s often criticism, but, to tell the truth, here, we don’t talk about her very much. » The uncertainty over the result of the next election is perceptible.

False airs of a national laboratory

A cafe owner from Saint-Sever (Calvados), ten kilometers west of Vire, interrupts our exchange with a customer to claim the neutrality of his establishment. Outside, a local resident dodges the debate: “We don’t talk about politics with people whose ideas we don’t know. I mostly talk about it with family. » In a nearby business, the discussions between customers echo those that can be heard elsewhere in France: “The Europeans were scary. This is all very sudden. Nobody knows what to do. »

This sixth Calvados district has the false air of a national laboratory. On the starting line, the three main voting blocs are moving forward with ambition. Alongside the figure of Macronie, Noé Gauchard, ex-candidate of Nupes, who now represents the New Popular Front, is trying his luck again after holding off Élisabeth Borne two years ago (47.53% of the vote). vote in the second round). At the RN, the local Jean-Philippe Roy was replaced by Nicolas Calbrix, former head of the Debout la France list in the Eure in the 2015 regional elections. Five other candidates are in the running: Esteline Caillemer (Reconquête), Lynda Lahalle (various center), Pascale Georget (Workers’ Struggle), Berengère Lareynie (far left) and Philippe Ambourg (sovereignist right).

Still in Saint-Sever, Camille confides her surprise regarding the candidacy of Élisabeth Borne, “given the national failure of Macron’s policy”. In local political circles, we also talk privately about “a disconnection. They don’t realize they’re going to lose.” A feeling shared by Marie, a voter: “His name will not be enough, on the contrary, even. People were disappointed, sometimes disgusted. The gap between the cities and the countryside is widening and the gap with the government has never been so deep. »

No waves in the Normandy countryside

Camille supports: “Ms. Borne’s party is a symbol of a lack of listening. » In Vire, we also remember “that it was necessary to barricade the town, during the mobilization against the pension reform, because we feared a violent demonstration, precisely because it was the town of Élisabeth Borne”.

However, like the hopes of Emmanuel Macron, who hopes to get out of these anticipated legislative elections through a mouse hole, some see another path. “The constituency has always played for stability and longevity. Here, it’s rural, quite old, and the people are respectful of the institutions,” describes a resident who has lived in the constituency for a long time. “In a troubled political environment, Élisabeth Borne will be re-elected,” he predicts, specifying however that he does not plan to vote for her.

Since the arrival of Emmanuel Macron in the political game, the constituency surrounding Vire Normandie has always been a benevolent land for his camp. Former MP Alain Tourret (2012-2022) had also been one of his early supporters. In the European elections, however, it was Jordan Bardella’s list which came first in the commune (with 34.12% of the votes, compared to 19.87% for the Macronist Ensemble list).

“The battle is going to be tough, it’s hard to decide on the result,” agrees a Virois. “As we don’t talk much about Borne, it’s perhaps better for her,” smiles another. The bocage doesn’t like to make waves. The defeat of a former Prime Minister would be one.



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