“First, who are you?” “Perched on improbable pumps, Gabrielle, sparkling forties, gauges the candidate standing in front of her on this Sunday flea market, in Coulombs, a town of around 1,300 inhabitants, 35 kilometers north of Chartres. Campaigning for the legislative elections in the first constituency of Eure-et-Loir, Ladislas Vergne is used to having to present himself, although he was born here thirty years ago, on December 24. Youth first and the relative anonymity that accompanies the candidates – regardless of the labels – weigh in this wooded territory, shared between towns and countryside.
“I’m the Republican candidate. Are you on the right? “Questions this municipal councilor of Chartres, capital of the department. A lively discussion ensued on the reasons for slipping a ballot into the ballot box on June 12 and 19. “I try to tell them that if they voted RN in the presidential election, they can very well vote LR in the legislative elections. A game of political balancing act in this constituency won the presidential majority.
This novice in politics, enarque and polyglot – he speaks fluent German and Arabic – perfectly embodies the young guard of LR, on a mission to ward off the bad luck that has befallen the Gaullist family since a failed presidential election. “Pécresse, as soon as she passed, we turned off the television”, mocks a passer-by crossed on the market of Morancez, a nearby town. “We thought she would score better,” admits another while a couple, arm in arm, pretends to pass on their way at the sight of a leaflet: “Pécresse, it’s not the true right! Not enough to discourage Ladislas Vergne, experienced in the exercise, who tries to convince even abstainers. Sometimes to the desperation of these teams, an eye on the clock in this blitz. “The challenge is to reach as many people as possible, even if it’s a tiny portion of voters”, recognizes a small hand, a past master in the art of electoral collage.
“The other candidates are not campaigning”, regrets the interested party, confronted with the weight of the past defeat while yet another disaster awaits The Republicans. “I don’t understand why the party is so attached to this fable of local settlement. They are oddly optimistic, ”confided a member of the political bureau recently, worried at the sight of the first feedback from abroad. At stake, this electorate mostly acquired on the right, having voted “useful” in the first round. A shame for Ladislas Vergne, tried to bring conservative voters back on the right track.
“The right has moved to Macron,” he admits, a pile of leaflets in his hand. It is this trader attached to the values of work and effort, who concedes having voted for Emmanuel Macron, “for lack of anything better”. It’s this retiree acquired on the right, recently widowed and worried about his pension – “I have to count for the first time in my life” – all the same satisfied after the president announced his intention to upgrade pensions by summer. “The current majority is on the left”, tries to parry Ladislas Vergne, almost running out of arguments when it comes to addressing his camp. There remain the usual abstainers who have returned from everything, convinced that voting would no longer be of any use, even less to their interests. “It’s always the same people who don’t care when their pockets are full when, here, there are no longer any public services”, asserts a father in front of his son. As for the youngsters? “They no longer vote”, regrets this thirty-year-old candidate for the first time.
Some 13,000 letters distributed, a fairly extensive four-page profession of faith – supporting photos –, several public meetings… The aspiring deputy voluntarily targets seniors, the most likely to mobilize in his favor. He even managed to bring in Xavier Bertrand or Laurent Wauquiez, two heavyweights able to get people talking in the local press. “And don’t forget to vote for the right”, he punctuates, enthusiastically, at each meeting on the ground. Apart from the 5,000 euros in loans allocated by the party, to be reimbursed as part of campaign expenses, Ladislas Vergne went into personal debt to cover this war effort. A risk assumed for those who are aiming for other deadlines, beyond the legislative ones.
“He’s still young, he doesn’t have too much of a bad language and he may be less formatted,” admits a restaurateur close to retirement, without revealing his vote. As the end of the campaign approaches, Ladislas Vergne still wants to believe it. With all his strength and regardless of the predictions. “It’s winnable if we qualify for the second round in front of the left”, he tries to convince before a debate organized between all the candidates on a local web TV, Le28.tv, Sunday, June 5. From the beginning of the exchanges, the candidate of the Republicans is the object of attacks. “It’s a good sign, it means we’re always disturbing,” hopes a lieutenant. And the right is moving again?