In Sologne, rural voters oscillate between disappointment and resentment vis-à-vis the President of the Republic.
Emmanuel Macron annoys them. “Haughty”, "contemptuous", "distant", the adjectives they use when they talk about him are not kind. On these Solognote lands of Loir-et-Cher, to hear their critics, they could almost sing the famous song by Michel Delpech which repeated: “You seem to mind walking in the mud. » From Romorantin to Chambord, right-wing voters, from the National Front or even Macronists, sing the same haunting little music, on the distance that the President of the Republic would have established with rural France.
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With a stable or slightly increasing popularity rating according to the institutes, studies show that the French are still waiting to see the effects of government action to establish their judgment. According to that of Cevipof, it is among workers, non-graduates and low incomes that dissatisfaction remains strong. A trend clearly corroborated by the testimonies of rural voters collected in the Loir-et-Cher. Especially since, in this right-wing department, it was nourished by the speeches of local elected officials quick to stigmatize a president far from “real life”.
Here, the poverty rate and unemployment are slightly lower than the national average. Alongside the estates and hunts of a few large fortunes, the local economy has been based on agriculture and forestry since the textile and car factories closed. The standard of living remains modest but it is good to live there, both on the agricultural farms and in the small towns where inexpensive housing estates are growing.
Yet the theme of “president of the rich” held by the LR opposition, mixed with some Mélenchonist criticism, took. "Look at the luxury in which he lives, the little dishes, the cabinet he has made available to his wife... It's a way of life that shocks me", loose Nicolas Garnier, breeder and mayor of Billy, a small town of 1 inhabitants. We can tell him that the presidential way of life has not changed since Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande. No matter ! " He's totally disconnected." insists this sympathizer of the Les Républicains party.
" Far from us "
Right-wing voters, numerous in these small towns on the edge of the forest, do not understand this president whom they easily dismiss as contemptuous "boho". “Macron listens to the rich. He looks down on us and treats us like less than nothing…”, slice Marie Elvira, education assistant at Romorantin. This small, petite woman, a former convinced Sarkozyist, saw her post as educational assistant abolished, due to the drop in assisted contracts in 2018.
Jean A., a retired engineer, also assures that Emmanuel Macron is “too far from our problems of rurality”. He doesn't have precise measurements in mind, but a feeling. "His background as a banker, who has put so much money aside, does not reassure me, he admits as well. Listen to the unfortunate expressions he uses, as when he speaks of “those who are nothing”. They repeat themselves…” adds this octogenarian. Over the course of the discussions, everything is thus put on the back of the remoteness of the “Parisian” who would have no roots. A man who, having studied at the Grandes Ecoles, then his career in the business world, would understand nothing of what is happening beyond the ring road.
The antiphon returns like a leitmotif: “He is far from us. » For some, it is its “anti-social” measures such as the increase in the CSG paid by retirees that would be the symptom; for others, too heavy loads. Farmers target condemnation of glyphosates. Even the youngest are getting into it. "Here we are in the countryside and he does not care", strikes Vanessa D., 30, artisan in fast food, who voted Marine Le Pen for president, and seems to have come back from everything.
“He's a young, media man, but what does he know of the worlds of the workers or the small countryside? It's so far away", adds Mohamed Elaguide, 42, itinerant trader. This former hospital agent who voted François Hollande in 2012 then François Fillon in March is not optimistic for the future, citing in particular the pension reform. He bought eight apartments to secure his own.
There remain the few voters of Mr. Macron encountered who seem to be in between. Patrick Marceau, retired engineer and former CFE-CGC trade unionist, still wants to trust the Head of State: “I hope it will revive the economy and investment”, he slips. But the way the labor law was adopted does not pass. "He rushed there and forced everyone's hand. And we end up with a massive destruction of a certain number of protections for employees, ” laments this sexagenarian. On him, the chorus has not yet caught on: “I don't know yet if he's the president of the rich. I am waiting to see… "
Source: "Here we are in the countryside and Macron does not care"