Two young elected officials toured the Eure to understand the breakthrough of the far right in the department

Two young elected officials toured the Eure to understand the breakthrough of the far right in the department

Embark on a “tour of France” to feel the pulse of the country: the idea is fashionable in the political world. This winter, a group of transpartisan parliamentarians threw themselves on the roads in the perspective of a bill on medical deserts. At the end of summer, two very young elected officials from Eure are completing a journey with the population of their department in order to understand the breakthrough of the far right in this part of France converted to the National Rally since the last legislative elections: Louis Speybrouck is deputy mayor of Vaudreuil (3,700 inhabitants), Antoine Richard, city councilor responsible for youth in Vernon (23,700 inhabitants). They are located in the center right, without a label. The first stuck at the age of 6 years campaign posters of Nicolas Sarkozy with his parents. The second caught the political virus in pre-adolescence. Both are 22 years old and still believe in it, despite the mistrust of the French towards their leaders.

Since June 21, they have visited around sixty municipalities in Eure, a rather rural department of 600,000 inhabitants, located between Paris and Rouen. The Renault 4L in which they circulate – “the car of happy days”, says Antoine – has the merit of attracting sympathy. The duo varies the meetings: here, a public meeting on the village square around the question: “And you, what would you do if you were president?” ; there, an exchange with business leaders or farmers. The discussion sometimes continues in the garden of a resident – ​​”Around a glass of cider, words come easily”, notes Louis.

Many grievances

Feeling of downgrading, housing crisis caused by the post-Covid rush on second homes, lack of doctors, cost of childcare, grumbling against the “assisted” … The grievances reflect the unease. A market gardener wonders where to find the hundreds of thousands of euros needed to buy back her parents’ farm; a farmer rages against restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids, which led to the closure of a sugar factory in the region.

“Sometimes our position has allowed us to act to unblock situations,” rejoices the duo. In Armentières-sur-Avre, a school and a car park were suddenly classified by the prefecture in an area unsuitable for activity. Louis Speybrouck and Antoine Richard put the mayor in contact with the department’s rurality agency.

During the riots, during which Vernon broke the national record for throwing grenades, they were seized by “remarks worthy of the darkest years of the FN”, they say: “France to the French”, “We must send the army, etc. Many residents told them about the rising violence; often, they felt each other’s fear. Politicians, they insist, must return to the field. And local elected officials, hold more powers. Antoine is more convinced than ever: “You have to know the territories to make the right decisions.”

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