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“In 2017, we preferred Macron to Le Pen. He let us down too much “

It is barely 9:30 in the polling station in Brûlon, a city of 1,521 in western Sarthe, and the number of voters is always full. Grandmother in Sunday’s best, young people in sweatpants and tap, working couples … already 140 voters out of 1185 registered. Here, participation in the first round was higher than the national average, welcomes Mayor Daniel Coudreuse, a suit and starched shirt, perfumed. He welcomes his constituents with a smile, although the result of the first round was difficult for the proclaimed fillonist to grasp: while François Fillon led the first round in 2017 with 46.70% of the vote, Brûlon voters preferred Marine Le Pen, which won 32.25 % of votes cast. The result is a picture of the rural villages of Sarthe.

Indeed, this agricultural department historically anchored to the right saw one of the strongest nationwide increases in National Rally (RN) voting in the first round between 2017 and 2022. Although it garnered fewer votes than Emmanuel Macron (28, 24%), it is. Marine Le Pen (27.68%), neck and neck, ranked first in 273 of 354 Sarthe municipalities. The turnout was lower than the national average (25.64% in Sarthe compared to 26.31% in France). “RN has always been here, but at this point he scores …” Daniel Coudreuse is surprised. Even less, the vote in his town explains that he has “everything you need equipment,” he believes. He quotes: “1,200 jobs, a medical house with seven doctors, a French service house, shops, new schools, a leisure base, we are far from abandoned. “Silence of thought:” People may be doing well at the local level, but there has been a break with national policies, which is enough to be expressed. »