Toasting a cigarette between the stalls of the Chilly-Mazarin market, an activist from Jérôme Guedj trumpeted: “We never meet Amélie de Montchalin’s supporters. They’re probably too busy packing his boxes at the Ministry! ” The joke amuses the socialist candidate, beaten by the Walker in 2017 in this 6th constituency of Essonne, but he immediately invites his comrade to be careful: “We will have our revenge, but it is absolutely not won, we do not must not give up. »

“Sanctioning Macron’s minister-candidate” – as he puts it – will not be easy. The former Minister of Public Service, promoted to Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion in the Borne government, came out ahead in the first round of the legislative election in 2017, with 38.80% of the vote against 13.06% for his socialist opponent. Difficult, moreover, to accuse him of having been “parachuted” there: his family has been running a farm on the Saclay plateau for several decades.

“We are absolutely not in the same configuration as five years ago. Today, the left is united”, tempers Jérôme Guedj, who hopes to nationalize this local ballot by hammering that the Nupes can obtain a majority in the National Assembly. “It’s not just a confrontation between Madame de Montchalin and me. We are also, and above all, leading an essential fight between Macronie and the New People’s Ecological and Social Union, between the liberal right and the left”, supports the regional councilor of Île-de-France, whose mentor was for a time Jean -Luc Mélenchon – his father and the future Insoumis leader were both elected to Massy.

On the market of this city whose mayor, Rafika Rezgui, is among his supporters, he has (almost) no trouble convincing. “We already know you,” some passers-by smile. “I already have your tract in my cart,” some old ladies slip. A child tall as three apples asks for a leaflet to give it wisely to his father. “Everyone is mobilizing,” laughs the native of Massy.

If that is not enough to set up a face-to-face meeting, he drives the point home by listing the key measures of the common program of Nupes, which he opposes to the “politics of social damage” of the majority: retirement at 60 years, the minimum wage increased to 1,500 euros net and the introduction of an autonomy allowance for youth set at 1,063 euros per month. “Where’s your wand?” I do not see her ! How do you fund this? It’s not serious…”, answers dryly a man of about fifty years. “We’re fed up with Macron… That some of your measures are difficult to implement doesn’t matter. The important thing is that the left is finally united, “breathed a young woman.

A few meters further, the union has however lead in the wing. As they distribute their candidate’s leaflets, activists from La France insoumise question Mr. Guedj: “But what have you done? You have no shame ? The reason for the grievance: having included on the campaign document Claude Germon, former PS mayor of Massy who resigned himself to voting for Ms. de Montchalin in 2017 after having regretted the “abyssal void of the left”. “I had no choice, I had to go find voters other than those of Mélenchon,” defends Jérôme Guedj. “You put the odds on your side to lose,” exclaims an LFI activist, disturbing the tranquility of the central market square. And you never put Jean-Luc’s face on your posters! “We just have a strategic disagreement, that’s okay. We are different but complementary, ”says the Nupes candidate. “Different and certainly not complementary”, corrects the Insoumise activist.

The bickering betrays a precarious union that could benefit Amélie de Montchalin. Jérôme Guedj will probably not collect the 40.4% of votes obtained by all the left-wing candidates in the “circo” in the first round of the presidential election (against 29.9% for Emmanuel Macron). The candidate knows this, but avoids any triumphalism. “Trust but caution” remain the watchwords. During a public meeting organized on Friday June 3 in Arthur Clark Park, in Wissous, the young minister, trained at HEC and Harvard, methodically defends the results of the President of the Republic and recalls his attachment to this territory. “It’s a mini-France that brings together most of the concerns of the French: purchasing power, housing, health, or even transport. It is also a territory representative of the attractiveness of France: remember that the University of Paris-Saclay has risen to 13th place in the Shanghai ranking”, she underlines. And to highlight his deputy, Pierre Ollier, first deputy mayor of Massy: “By electing me, you get two for the price of one. Pierre, deputy, who will bring up the realities on the ground, and I, in the government, who have always put the Essonne files at the table of the Council of Ministers. »

Conversely, electing Mr. Guedj would amount to giving discharge to Jean-Luc Mélenchon and therefore hampering government action. “It must be understood that Jérôme Guedj is the candidate of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, with his ambiguities on Russia as on democracy, even if he hides it! Mr. Guedj is no longer a socialist; he’s a mélenchoniste,” she thunders, before recalling the taste of the Insoumis leader for South American dictatorial regimes. There followed an exchange of more than an hour with around fifty Wissoussians on pension reform, ecological transition, nuclear power and the legislative elections, deemed too complex. On all these themes, it is necessary “to change the method to be better understood”, sums up Amélie de Montchalin. The one who is portrayed as “techno” by her critics is therefore “pedagogical”. So she takes the time – the answers are sometimes spread over a good twenty minutes – to discuss with everyone. “How long is all this going to take?” You’ve already been in power for five years! asks a man, doubtful, at the end of a demonstration. Despite the efforts made, we cannot convince everyone.