The mistral swirls severely, a trap for the leaflets flying past the Eydoux school. The children file off in droves, Manuel Bompard takes care to hold the documents by handing them to the mothers who stop. “Don’t forget to vote for your deputies on Sunday, I am your candidate with Jean-Luc Mélenchon”, loose in a loop the one to whom the leader Insoumis, now head of the gondola of the alliance on the left (Nupes) has “entrusted” the constituency.
A small political palace, adorned with 54.4% of the votes in the first round of the presidential election. In this bobo district where Manuel Bompard makes his school trip, this Thursday afternoon, the score rose to 60%. “We work in these offices where we have made the most votes, because the idea is to remobilize, explains the 36-year-old mathematician, considered the strategist of La France insoumise. No need to seek out those who did not vote in the presidential election. They won’t go on Sunday. »
For once, the corner of the street is a magnet, the piles of leaflets shrink quickly. “Either I vote for you or I don’t care and don’t take it,” laughs one young dad, while another demands a selfie with his son Aliosha. “Politicians are puppets, but I like Mélenchon, so I’ll vote for you,” swears another. The day before, in the working-class district of Belsunce, at the foot of the Saint-Charles stairs, there was pats on the shoulders and frank laughter.
“People are very tactile, talkative, they are not afraid of anything,” laughs Manuel Bompard. I who am a Mediterranean, a guy from the city, I feel like a fish in water. It’s different from Toulouse, where there is more restraint, “adds the one who was elected MEP in the South West in 2019. And for whom the campaign is still akin to swimming on the surface. If he is elected, he promises to dive in depth, to immerse himself in this complex and fierce city.
Because the smiles and the outbursts of voices, the superficial warmth of a very left-wing constituency and the half-resigned, half-novice competition, embodied by the young macronist Najat Akodad, the former gaudinist Solange Biaggi (LR) and the beginner RN Julien Tellier, mask a real danger: indifference. And its electoral corollary: abstention. It stood at 64.2% in the first round of the legislative elections in 2017, or 13 points more than the French average.
Red T-shirt and white mustache, Antoine, 85, comes to lend a hand, takes a handful of leaflets which he leaves to distribute in mailboxes. “I am a survivor of the Old Port roundup in 1942, a communist militant since 1962. So, I received slaps. To snatch battles, I learned to give four back. Never give up, educate people, tell them that we must not resign ourselves to watching billionaires on TV, that the misery that surrounds us must be fought. »
It is significant in these neighborhoods near the Old Port, including Le Panier and La Belle-de-Mai, where 43% of the population lives below the poverty line, three times more than the national average. “That’s the whole point, and that’s why we have to send a majority to the Assembly,” wants to persuade the Rebellious candidate. “He’s young,” nudges Antoine. But I come from the building and I can tell you that it is at the foot of the wall that we see the mason. Already, Manuel Bompard is off to say hello to the merchants in the neighboring streets.