how can we explain the shift to the extreme right in Côtes-d’Armor?

how can we explain the shift to the extreme right in Côtes-d’Armor?

Côtes-d’Armor placed the National Rally at the head of the European elections. How can we explain this reversal in a bastion department of the left? Reporting.

On an electoral panel in downtown Guingamp, the European leaflets are half torn off. Marion Maréchal’s face partly disappears under a poster of La France insoumise (LFI). The portrait of Jordan Bardella is no longer visible at all. However, it was his list which came first with 27.68% of the votes in this historically left-wing city, while the president of the National Rally (RN) had only collected 19% of the votes in 2019.

Times have changed and this is not to displease Noël Lude, RN candidate for the next legislative elections. “I was surprised by the importance of our score,” admits, smiling, this 75-year-old retiree. Of course, we felt a growing enthusiasm for our ideas, but perhaps not as much. » He himself only joined the Lepenist camp recently. Before 2017, he admits to having voted on the left and even adds to having been “in favor of sentence adjustments” for prisoners, as if to support his former progressive leaning. Since then, his car has been stolen and then burned. He now supports tougher penalties, while ensuring that he finds in the RN “many of the values ​​that appealed to him on the left”, without further details.

Doctors from Cuba

Thérèse* changed even more recently. The European elections made this sixty-year-old, until now a left-wing voter, also change her mind. “I see my territory deteriorating more and more,” she laments. Today, just finding a doctor has become difficult. » Classified among the medical deserts, the Guingamp-Paimpol agglomeration invited the ambassador of… Cuba at the start of the year. The local authority planned to bring doctors from the island, known for the quality of its health system.

The retiree also did not appreciate the closure of the town’s maternity ward last April, against which many residents had demonstrated. Another mobilization left its mark. 30 km away, the mayor of the town of Callac, 2,000 inhabitants, had to abandon a project to welcome migrants in January 2023 under pressure from far-right activists. Reconquest! had greatly contributed to the media coverage of this initiative. “We voluntarily let Zemmour’s party get active, but ultimately it was us who reaped the benefits since we came first in Callac during the European elections,” enthuses Noël Lude. I think this event contributed to our good score in Guingamp. »

Supporters of the RN remain very cautious, however. Olivier* responds willingly, but on condition that his last name is not mentioned; the young man fears trouble with a potential future employer. “I only talk about it to people I trust, because we quickly attach a racist label to RN voters,” he squeaks. His first Lepéniste bulletin dates from 2022. Until now, he voted for Emmanuel Macron. But here it is: he no longer supports the President of the Republic. There would be Gabriel Attal, whom he finds interesting and less haughty than his boss, but he still prefers Jordan Bardella. The trigger? “When I received my first pay slip. » The thirty-year-old takes out his phone to show the status of his bank account. In mid-June, it was already 30 euros short. Olivier adds: “And yet I don’t spend more than necessary. »

Various motivations

He is not the only one struggling to make ends meet: one in four Guingamp residents lives on 839 euros per month, making it the poorest city in Brittany. If purchasing power is at the heart of his vote, Olivier adds to this factor a growing feeling of insecurity. “Don’t believe it, even here, you come across dangerous people. My girlfriend always gets hassled when she goes running. » This supporter of the “En avant de Guingamp” team, however, wishes to be clear: there is no question of blaming everything on foreigners.

Sitting in her office in front of a map of the department from the 1960s detailing local productions, outgoing LFI MP Murielle Lepvraud is preparing for the electoral tussle. For her too, the success of the RN is not based only on the rejection of others. “I think he is more motivated by the decline in public services and the feeling of abandonment. » She nevertheless remains scandalized by the anti-Muslim tags painted on the city’s mosque, in December 2023. The elected official has a few days to convince the voters of her constituency. So far, no RN candidate has been elected in Côtes-d’Armor. How many will join the National Assembly in July under the colors of the flame party?

* First names have been changed.

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