It is in everyone’s mind. Kamel Chibli, for example, campaign manager for Carole Delga, thinks about abstention every day. The socialist president of the Occitanie region gathered 39.6% of the votes in the first round, far ahead of the 22.6% of the candidate supported by the National Rally (RN), Jean-Paul Garraud. She hopes to return to her seat on Sunday, June 27. But “Of course we are afraid! We are worried that people will consider the match won… ”, says Kamel Chibli, who asked his troops to “Get down to 2000%”. “Considering the abstention, he explains, there is no certain victory for anyone. I campaign as for the first round. “
That 67% of voters abstained in the first round of departmental and regional elections, Sunday, June 20, caused fear in the campaign staffs. ” Yes “, they are right to worry about it, affirms Bruno Cautrès, political scientist at CNRS-Cevipof, because “The abstention reached an alert rating. And, whatever happens, we will remain with a very strong abstention in the second round. “ Perhaps less in regions where the ballot is disputed, such as Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA). But, elsewhere, “I do not see what could push the voters to move”, predicted Mr. Cautrès.
Alain Rousset knows this situation. The outgoing socialist president of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region foiled the polls by distancing the RN candidate, Edwige Diaz: 28.8% against 18.2%. M. Rousset displays the serenity of old politicians. He who is applying for a fifth term confides that abstention is “A possibility to which [il] don’t believe[t] not too much “. “We have three times as many proxies”, he justifies. But serenity does not prevent prudence: “I still tell my teams to mobilize voters and I always do a lot of markets and debates. “
“Nothing is played”
Depending on whether the voters are on the move or not, the results will be quite different. The RN is, so to speak, well placed to find out. On June 20, his supporters abstained at 73% according to Ipsos. And the far-right party won only 19.3% of the vote, against 27.7% in 2015. As of Sunday evening, Marine Le Pen practically criticized voters: “You will have noticed this evening the electoral consequences, and therefore political, of your abstention, declared the president of the RN. After having undergone months of restrictions on your freedoms, I call on you to deconfin your ideas and to rectify the result of this first round ”.
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