In Seine-Saint-Denis, the columnist of Cyril Hanouna and lawyer Raquel Garrido challenges in her stronghold the president of the UDI Jean-Christophe Lagarde who is seeking a fifth term in the Assembly.

At the Drancy market, we demand “selfies” from Raquel Garrido who distributes leaflets between the narrow fruit and vegetable stalls.

The Insoumise, invested under the Nupes banner, thwarted the forecasts by winning the first round of the legislative elections in the 5th district (Bobigny, Drancy, Le Bourget) of Seine-Saint-Denis. With 37.9% of the vote, the 48-year-old lawyer is ahead of the centrist pillar of the department Jean-Christophe Lagarde (33.41%).

“This first-round victory was unexpected in the Lagarde camp, which thought it was permanently screwed on a throne, but we are not in a monarchy”, tackled the municipal councilor of Bagnolet.

At the helm for 20 years, Jean-Christophe Lagarde, 54, delighted in 2002, this constituency of Seine-Saint-Denis anchored on the left.

The boss of the UDI had previously seized the town of Drancy in 2001 (70,000 inhabitants), tipping this historic communist bastion to the center-right, now led by his wife Aude Lagarde.

For Mr. Lagarde, the result of his rival was “expected” in view of “the good scores of Mélenchon” in Seine-Saint-Denis, during the first round of the presidential election.

Voters overwhelmingly voted for LFI leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon (49.09%) ahead of outgoing President Emmanuel Macron (20.27%) and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (11.88%) .

It is “a vote of etiquette from a parachute from the far left who no longer has any reserve of votes”, estimates Mr. Lagarde who, according to his “calculations”, should recover part of the 8 % of voters of the presidential majority, whose candidate arrived behind the RN (9.64%) in the first round of the legislative elections.

Raquel Garrido “assumes the identification with Mélenchon” and will go “stubbornly to defend his program of repairing social injustices in the Assembly”.

The campaign is being played out in Drancy, which has the largest contingent of registered voters (35,000), against 23,000 for Bobigny and 6,000 at Le Bourget where Raquel Garrido came first.

In the streets of Drancy, the “seen on TV” effect works to its advantage. Young people, motorists, families stop to greet her and come back to her positions on the small screen.

“We have a lot of contempt for popular shows when people watch and identify. I spend my life there defending Seine-Saint-Denis”, assures the columnist of the show “Balance your post”, presented by Cyril Hanouna.

But for the former spokesperson for Mélenchon, his audiovisual popularity rating must now turn into a ballot to hope to join in the hemicycle his companion Alexis Corbière, elected in the first round in the 7th constituency (Bagnolet and Montreuil) of Seine-Saint-Denis.

With 1,041 votes in advance, the match will be tight. Its objective, like the opposition, is to capture abstainers who peak at 63.5% in the first round, more than 10 points above the national average (52.49%).

“Democracy only works if everyone is there. The ultra-rich thrive on the abstention of working-class neighborhoods, on the abstention of the youth”, regrets Ms. Garrido, “politicized since always”.

With her parents belonging to the ultra-left movement, she fled Chile after the 1973 coup.

“I want to mobilize the working women of Seine-Saint-Denis who take their metro every morning to clean up the chic neighborhoods, to take care of other people’s children, the elderly. I want to allow them to have a retire at 60”, repeats the chosen one to each passerby who stops to pick up a program.

On the market, the activists of the two camps look at each other and swing a few spades: “the anti-police”, “parachuted” on one side and “the thief”, “the Balkany of Drancy” for the other.

In Seine-Saint-Denis, the candidates of Nupes, who came first out of the twelve constituencies, are aiming for the grand slam. Only two deputies coming out of the right managed to qualify for the second round. With Jean-Christophe Lagarde, Alain Ramadier (LR) will also try to save his seat against the tidal wave of the left.

06/15/2022 12:24:02 – Drancy (AFP) – © 2022 AFP