Emmanuel Duplessy, from UNEF to Génération.s, a left-wing environmental activist who became a member of parliament for Loiret

Emmanuel Duplessy, from UNEF to Génération.s, a left-wing environmental activist who became a member of parliament for Loiret
Emmanuel Duplessy, from UNEF to Génération.s, a left-wing environmental activist who became a member of parliament for Loiret

For his first term, Emmanuel Duplessy, 34, will sit alongside the environmentalists in the National Assembly. In a department historically anchored on the right, his victory, in the second constituency of Loiret, materializes the very good scores obtained by the candidates of the New Popular Front in Orléans.

He is therefore the one who brought the Loiret left back to the Assembly, seven years after the sole mandate of the socialist Valérie Corre. In a second constituency that has long been an impregnable Gaullist bastion, Emmanuel Duplessy, 34, first managed to get ahead of the outgoing deputy Caroline Janvier (Ensemble), in the first round, before taking advantage of the Republican front and winning against the RN’s ghost candidate, in the second.

Two years after a first trial run and after this improbable campaign, the elected representative from Orléans therefore set down his suitcases on Tuesday July 9 at the Palais Bourbon where he will sit alongside the ecologist elected representatives.

“My legitimacy was clear”

Forgotten are the reservations that accompanied his candidacy in 2022 against the same Caroline Janvier. At the time, she had provoked the acerbic remarks of Jean-Pierre Sueur who believed that a better-established socialist local elected official would have had a better chance of winning. Emmanuel Duplessy says he felt this time a “strong support” from “local elected officials” as well as “citizens”.

“In 2022, I had the best score of the left-wing candidates in the second round. This time, my legitimacy was clear,” says the new MP, buoyed by the very good scores of the left in Orléans, leading in the three constituencies in the first round of these legislative elections.

Pink and green

If his heart is green today, Emmanuel Duplessy was trained in the socialist school. The one who is in charge of a mission at the regional council first chose to campaign within the UNEF, the student union, at the University of Orléans. A member of the socialist party from 2011, but quickly disappointed by François Hollande’s five-year term, Emmanuel Duplessy then turned to the environmental movement Alternatiba before following, in 2017, Benoît Hamon, an unsuccessful candidate in the presidential election.

“The goal is first of all to unite the good wills of the left, those who do not identify with Macron or Mélenchon,” explains Emmanuel Duplessy, the driving force behind the Génération.s movement in Orléans.

“We won a battle”

In 2020, he joined the list of the Green Party leader Jean-Philippe Grand and became an opposition municipal councilor in Orléans, a platform he has regularly used in recent months to denounce the rise of far-right ideas.

“There was relief on Sunday evening. A large part of the population said that the RN was not a party like the others and that it was unthinkable that it would come to power, analyses Emmanuel Duplessy. We won a battle but if we do not arrive with a clear political project, the risk is to see the extreme right become even more powerful.”

And this project can only be that of the New Popular Front, believes the Loiret MP.

“Even if the victory is narrow, we came out on top, we are legitimate to form a government. The ball is in the court of the Renaissance deputies.”

Without venturing to name a possible Prime Minister – “he will have to be both a unifier and at the heart of the political diversity of the New Popular Front” – Emmanuel Duplessy outlines his roadmap: “repair the territory” and “get the French out of poverty”. “I don’t understand how in such a rich country, there are people on the streets, poor workers, families who can’t make ends meet. We can eliminate poverty in this country.”

Alexandre Charrier

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