PORTRAIT. Marine Tondelier, the Héninoise who goes to the front

PORTRAIT. Marine Tondelier, the Héninoise who goes to the front
PORTRAIT. Marine Tondelier, the Héninoise who goes to the front

An opposition member in Hénin-Beaumont since 2014, the leader of the environmentalists has undoubtedly left her mark on the campaign for the early legislative elections. A fighter from the very beginning of the Front – which became the National Rally – some imagine her at Matignon, while the New Popular Front came out on top in the elections.

She never takes off her green jacket, which she has two copies of. Since Emmanuel Macron announced the dissolution on the evening of the European elections, the 37-year-old from Hénin has been going from TV studio to radio studio and taking part in demonstrations against the far right, always wearing the green, characteristic of her party. The one she has been campaigning for for over 15 years.

Granddaughter of farmers from Beaumont-en-Artois (which would become Hénin-Beaumont after a merger at the end of the 20th century), which she did not fail to mention during the agricultural crisis that wanted to set farmers against environmentalists, Marine Tondelier has always remained attached to her town, to her land. In 2009, she joined EELV after going to a José Bové meeting in Lille. A party with which she led her first political fight, at home, in Hénin-Beaumont, against Marine Le Pen. We are in 2012.

While Marine Le Pen, the socialist Philippe Kemel and the leader of the Left Front Jean Luc Mélenchon argue on our set of La Voix et Libre during the debate of the 11th constituency, Marine Tondelier warns : “the mining basin, he is tired, he is angry and he is becoming furious”The future proves him right, the RN becomes, election after election, the leading force in the mining basin. Last Sunday, more than one in two voters voted for the National Rally in Pas-de-Calais.


Marine Tondelier and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, president of the left-wing party, during the campaign for the legislative elections in June 2012 in the 11th constituency of Pas-de-Calais.

© PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

A fight against the FN – today RN – which guides the environmentalist since her election in the opposition in Hénin-Beaumont against the mayor Steeve Briois. She will say it in her book News from the frontpublished in 2017 (and freely available), that being in the opposition of a National Front town hall forged her character. A book in which she states “understand and sometimes share the anger of FN voters.” A book to enable readers to become not “accomplices” but some “informed witnesses” of the functioning of the far-right party to be “capable in the future of convincing without exorcising.”

Fighting the far right, the national secretary of the Ecologists since December 2022, in fact her priority. Less than 24 hours after the announcement of the dissolution, she announced in front of the headquarters of the Greens that an agreement had been sealed between the 4 main left-wing parties to form a bloc against the RN : “we did it, she chants. We will be there.”

Even before the first round, she launched an appeal for Republican withdrawals, even writing to the leaders of the centrist parties (UDI, Modem, Renaissance, Horizon). The day after June 30, faced with the RN’s historic score, with sobs in her voice, she denounced Bruno Le Maire’s “neither, nor.”This is the behavior of a coward and a privileged person.says the Héninoise on the France Inter morning show. “It doesn’t live up to history”.

While she was supposed to represent the New Popular Front for the 3rd debate against Gabriel Attal and Jordan Bardella, the latter refused, setting as a condition that it be Jean-Luc Mélenchon. She then challenged him on social networks: “It’s my turn to represent our coalition in the 3rd debate. Am I to understand that you don’t dare to debate with me?” Jordan Bardella will not respond.

What if it was her? ?

Between the two rounds, she did not say no to a coalition, an alliance of Republicans against the RN. Sunday evening, it was finally the left that was in the lead by about twenty seats. At the headquarters of the ecologists, Marine Tondelier appeared with her green jacket, obviously. With an undisguised smile, she announced that the NFP was in the lead: “Leaving our nation in the hands of the far right without throwing all our forces into the fight was clearly not an option, so thank you”.


A woman holds a placard reading “Marine Tondelier 1st Minister” during the rally on the evening of the second round of early legislative elections in Paris, July 7, 2024.

© BASTIEN ANDRE / HANS LUCAS

What will the regional opposition councillor do now, the same one who acknowledged a republican collaboration with the LR Xavier Bertrand, by mentioning a 3rd round, if the RN lost…? Negotiations within the New Popular Front began as soon as the results were announced on the evening of the second round and the name of a prime minister from the left must be presented to Emmanuel Macron during the week.

But who ? Interviewed on TF1 this Monday July 8, Marine Tondelier draws a robot portrait of him : a person “very aligned with the program of the new popular front (…), capable of appeasing France which greatly needs it (…), which creates consensus (and) which has experience and competence”. What if it was her? ?

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