Behind his drums or on the guitar, rock-star model: Adrien Quatennens provided the “show” on Tuesday for a meeting-concert in Lille, where this figure of the “Mélenchon generation” is the favorite for his re-election. Already ready, he says, to enter the government.
It is chopsticks in hand, in front of his cymbals and his snare drum that the elected LFI with the inimitable red brush starts his meeting in a room in Lille, with his group, Les Insousols.
He then continues “the joint cutter’s daughter”, this time on the guitar, alongside the other headliner of the evening: the singer Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine, who came as a “friend”.
In the meantime, this rock fan – and Johnny – will have declined the key points of the Nupes program, SMIC at 1,500 euros and retirement at 60 years old. By this mixture of genres, the deputy intends to fight “resignation” and abstention.
In 2017, this 27-year-old customer advisor was almost unknown when he was elected deputy, with 46 votes, in the 1st district of the North. He has since become the number two of the main left-wing French party, in the post of coordinator.
“It is hard to see how the constituency can escape him,” said Tristan Haute, professor of political science in Lille.
In the “queen” of Lille districts, which brings together the heart of Lille and several working-class districts of the metropolis, the man notably faces Vanessa Duhamel, a centrist trader for LREM, Thomas Fabre, a young UDI teacher for the right, and Carole Leclercq, local figure of the RN.
The sector, long won over to the socialists, voted more than 40% for Mélenchon in the first round of the presidential election and can count on a well-established youth organization.
Nupes aims to be present in the second round in “400 to 500” constituencies out of 577, underlines the other LFI deputy from the North, the thirty-year-old Ugo Bernalicis, also well placed to be re-elected in the 2nd constituency.
But by obtaining a majority, “the march is high”, recognizes Adrien Quatennens. “The gap to be bridged depends on the level of popular mobilization.”
The campaign was therefore carried out through football matches and pétanque tournaments, to reach “those who do not vote”.
That evening, some came especially, free of charge, for Thiéfaine. Others for the candidate, such as Théo Malherbe Barré, a 21-year-old film student, who appreciates his “impactful but peaceful” side. “And then Mélenchon, it’s not the same age group”, he underlines.
Son of an EDF agent and an employee with little interest in politics, raised in a well-to-do suburb of Lille where he attended a private institution, the outgoing deputy began his career with the ATTAC organization.
It represents for him values of social and environmental justice, “minus the extreme left label”, he explains in a recent autobiography, “Génération Mélenchon”.
Having become an executive of rebellious France in the North, he continued to work as a telephone adviser on an EDF set, attracting the nickname of “deputy call center”.
In 2017, he took five weeks of unpaid leave to campaign. His opponents “didn’t give a lot of (my) skin”, he says.
But facing the macronist Christophe Itier, he is supported in the second round by the PS, while the FN candidate calls not to strengthen the presidential majority.
The sense of the formula and the pugnacity of this youngest member of the Insoumis group at the National Assembly opened the door to the national media for him. In his constituency, he is part of all the demonstrations, like last Saturday, at the head of the Lille Gay Pride procession.
“He is a hard worker, who has very strong convictions”, greets one of his opponents in 2017, the former socialist minister François Lamy.
“Very motivated” also by his ambition to succeed Mélenchon, according to Lille political scientist Rémy Lefebvre
In the immediate future, the person concerned sees himself entering “the government” if Mélenchon arrives at Matignon.
08/06/2022 16:04:27 – Lille (AFP) © 2022 AFP