“France has failed to defend its democracy”: Cher voters face the Republican front

“France has failed to defend its democracy”: Cher voters face the Republican front
“France has failed to defend its democracy”: Cher voters face the Republican front

Blank vote, Republican front, RN ballot? Who will voters who voted for a candidate absent from the second round in Cher turn to? Meetings.

What to do in the second round when your candidate has been eliminated or has decided to withdraw to block the National Rally?

In Cher, this question of the transfer of votes, the key to the election, is being asked by more than 38,000 voters who cast their ballots on Sunday. Some have decided without hesitation, driven by the desire to stand up to an RN that came out on top in the three constituencies. Others are still wondering.

Faced with the National Rally wave in Cher, outgoing deputies in search of votes

At the bottom of her building in Saint-Doulchard, Michèle says she is “totally lost”. On Sunday, “thinking it was best for her grandchildren”, the septuagenarian voted for Gabriel Behaghel, the Horizons candidate. Coming in third place in this 2nd constituency, he withdrew, calling for a vote for Nicolas Sansu (NFP) and leaving voters to arbitrate the duel between the outgoing communist deputy and the head of the RN youth in Cher.

“The only certainty is that I will vote,” Michèle continues. “But for whom? A communist? The RN? These are two extremes. I do not rule out voting blank, even if it does not serve much purpose.”

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For Étienne, another voter from Saint-Doulchard “under the influence of the results of the extreme right”, a blank vote or abstention are not options. Even less so a vote for the RN. “It is unthinkable. A racist party, which carries the discourse of “France for the French”, these are not my values. With the RN, the Republic is in danger. Any candidate facing the RN, I vote for him.” He will contribute to the building of the barrier to the RN, by voting for Nicolas Sansu.

Votes out of spite

It is not in this state of mind that Diane

is considering her participation in the second round. Met on Rue Coursarlon in Bourges, the fifty-something says she has always voted right. “I won’t be able to vote left on Sunday, it’s impossible for me.” Abstaining is not an option either. “No, I think I’ll vote RN,” she admits.

Historically red, Vierzon nevertheless has a blueish appearance on this day after the first round, even if in the sub-prefecture of Cher, the former communist mayor came out on top. In the second round, Ahmed, a voter for Gabriel Behaghel (Horizons), will vote out of spite. But the thirty-year-old will hold his positions: “I will vote to form a bloc against the RN. I will vote Sansu, but not out of support, far from it. I am afraid. Afraid for the state of society, for jobs too.”

A few kilometers further, the mayor of Vignoux-sur-Barangeon, a diverse right-wing candidate, Philippe Bulteau (6.4%) is no prophet in his own country either. Coming fourth in his own town (12.74%), his voters are not running the streets. Jacques is one of these supporters. “Naturally I voted for my mayor.” Failing to have him in the second round, the sixty-year-old confides that he has a greater appetite for voting on the right than on the left: “I will not vote for the NFP, they are dangerous.” Considering security and immigration as “primordial” subjects, he will put his vote back in the ballot boxes on July 7 for the RN candidate Bastian Duenas.

We need to stop demonizing the RN. If 40% of voters vote RN, it may not be without reason…

In Saint-Germain-du-Puy, a communist stronghold that inserted Hugo Lefelle, PS candidate of the New Popular Front between Ugo Iannuzzi and the outgoing deputy François Cormier-Bouligeon, voters will have to choose between RN and presidential majority. Yet in a position to remain in this 1st constituency, Hugo Lefelle, deputy mayor of Bourges, withdrew, calling for a vote for François Cormier-Bouligeon. “Without hesitation, but reluctantly”, Françoise, whose vote had gone to Hugo Lefelle, will slip in a Cormier-Bouligeon ballot.

Whether or not he was instructed, his decision was made in light of the National Front “slap”: “Between a Republican, even if I don’t share his convictions, even if he represents Emmanuel Macron, and the extreme right, I don’t hesitate for a second.”

For Josette, 80, “from a working-class background who has always voted left,” the Republican barrier is cracking in the face of a “policy that no longer resembles anything, in which I no longer believe. Already, seeing the left collude with this abject man that is Mélenchon, that hurt me a lot. Now, I am asked to choose between Macron who repels me and a nauseating extreme right. I think I will vote blank. I am disillusioned.”

“The only certainty is that I will vote”

Sitting on a terrace, Place Gordaine in Bourges, Marie, 65, voted for the New Popular Front in the first round. On Sunday, the left-wing voter will “of course” block the RN. “The RN is an enemy of democracy. I make a distinction between them and political adversaries. I like this nuance.”

His girlfriend Nicole, 78, is on the same page.

“It’s incredible to vote for the extreme right. Haven’t people had a history lesson? They’re going to attack culture, public services, the media. Privatize everything. France has failed to defend its democracy.” empty

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Vincent, a 34-year-old left-wing voter, a Keith Haring t-shirt under his denim jacket, will vote right “without thinking, it’s obvious”. His parents, “doctors who voted for the Workers’ Struggle”, blocked the far right in 2002; he in 2017 and 2022. “I prefer a democratic candidate, whoever he is, rather than a populist candidate. Emmanuel Macron was elected twice, thanks to the votes of the left. It’s the turn of the people on the right to return the favor.”

In Val d’Auron, in Bourges, Jeanne

wants to keep his first-round vote secret. In his constituency of Cher, the third, the outgoing MP Loïc Kervran (Horizons) came second, more than ten points behind the parachuted candidate of the National Rally, Pierre Gentillet (43.15%). “I will never vote for racism,” explains Jeanne. “I am from the Antilles. Since I have a very French name, when I send a CV, everything is fine, they accept my application. When I arrive at the meeting, they erase me. They don’t see my skills, just my skin colour. I am subjected to racist comments every day, at work, everywhere. I am a medical-social secretary, I do not work in this profession, because I am black, for fear that it will not please the clientele. I am French and I cannot enjoy my identity.”

“It’s scary, we can be worried”

In Saint-Amand-Montrond, Véronique, who voted for Emma Moreira (LFI-NFP) on Sunday, remains “lost”. “The RN is not me, not my family, rather black white Arab, and what happens next with them, we don’t know. I would like to block it, I did it once already, but it bothers me to vote for Kervran. He is on the territory, we know him but he is not me either. Or vote blank? The problem is that I have nothing to choose, and I don’t want others to choose for me.”

She shared her dilemma with a friend on Sunday in the car on the way back from the polling station. “She has already decided to oppose the RN and vote for Kervran. And yet she doesn’t like her substitute (Emmanuel Riotte, mayor of Saint-Amand, Editor’s note).”

Laurent, a retired social worker, says he started to “think about it in the night from Sunday to Monday, deep in bed. I feel obliged to vote for Loïc Kervran but it makes my stomach ache. Everyone has to play the game, because we are on the verge of having an RN government. Especially since we have a parachuted into the constituency who truly embodies the intellectual far right and makes unheard-of remarks. When he says: “We are going to bring the Constitutional Council into line”, it is alarming. We can be worried.”

The first name has been changed.

Campaign Notebook.Nicolas Sansu (2nd constituency): Republican assembly (meeting), Thursday, at 6:30 p.m., Madeleine-Sologne hall in Vierzon; Friday, at 6 p.m., in front of the La Chapelle-Saint-Ursin community hall. Loïc Kervran (3rd constituency): public meetings today at 7 p.m. at the Val d’Auron hall in Bourges; Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Saint-Amand-Montrond ballroom; Friday at 8 p.m. at the cultural center in Châteaumeillant.Marie-Claire Raymond, Marlène Lestang, Antoine Bailleron and Benjamin Gardel

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