The elections for the French National Assembly (Legislatives) is coming up on 11 June, with the second round a weeks later. Our constituency (Fr. circonscription) is called Lochois. The candidates posters have all gone up on the official boards and campaigning is proceeding in earnest.
Workers Party and local mayor.
On the left is the poster for the 'Workers' Struggle' party. One of the candidates is a middle school teacher, the other is a retired railway worker. On the right the candidate is the mayor of Loches. I get the impression he is business oriented and not very interested in local heritage. I notice that his running mate doesn't get her photo on the poster.
Left wing 'France Unbowed'.
The charismatic leader of the party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon gets to loom large, while the actual candidates are relegated to inset pictures at the bottom.
Royalists and Communists.
On the left, the 'Royal Alliance', who apparently are serious about wanting a return of the monarchy. On the right the Communists.
Sophie Auconie is a career politician, currently on the Tours council and a MEP. She was the first to get posters up all over the place and I think is a serious contender for the Legislatives.
Marisol Touraine is by far the best known of the candidates and the only one I've met in person. Another career politician, until recently the Health Minister, she has had her ups and downs (mostly downs this year, with protests by dentists and radiologists, the downsizing of Tours hospital with the loss of 900 posts, and trouble in the nursing home sector). She offered to defect from the Socialist Party and run for the new President Emmanuel Macron's En Marche movement, but he rejected her. After much disgruntled discussion and negotiation, En Marche has decided not to stand a candidate for our constituency. They have announced they will neither support or oppose her candidature. The expectation is that she will win, and she is perceived as someone they can work with. It has caused a lot of bad feeling in the local constituency office because Marisol is perceived as being an opportunist, and the EM candidate who wanted to stand is bitterly disappointed not to be given the chance.
Unfortunately we will be unable to go to the meeting tonight. It promises to be lively, as the grafitti is a dig at her attempt to run as an EM candidate. It translates as 'next time I'll
return my trousers' and the line comes from a song by Jacques Dutronc called L'Opportuniste. Technically it's illegal to deface the posters on the offical boards in every commune, but you can grafitti your heart out on political posters anywhere else.
Everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how many seats the new President's party will win. Will he get a majority and be able to achieve some of his manifesto, or will he be blocked at every turn by a hostile Assembly?