At least it’s not the fault of the sea or the ocean. Voters in the Grand-Est, far from the smallest beach of importance, also stayed away from the polling stations on Sunday. As everywhere in France, the first round of regional elections was marked by massive abstention. But even worse than elsewhere, with an incredibly low turnout.
Of the just over 3.8 million registered voters, only 1.1 million cast a ballot in the ballot box. Or around 30% of them, where the French average is just over 33%. In Corsica, it is even 57% of those registered who have come. Could the strong feeling of regionalism which still reigns on the island be linked to this enthusiasm, certainly relative?
Without comparing the two situations, all the heads of the lists of the Grand-Est deplored the abstention on Sunday evening. And some have often linked it to the enormity of their playground. A territory born in 2015 from the merger of Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne, that is to say of ten departments which extend over a little more than 57,000 km².
“Costly administrative thing”
“By being the region where participation is the lowest in France, it shows the rejection of our fellow citizens for this expensive” administrative thing “,” denounced, in the most virulent manner, the candidate of the National Rally Laurent Jacobelli. In the case of Brigitte Klinkert, Minister and representative of the presidential majority, it was also evoked difficulties for voters to “identify”.
Acceptable arguments to explain this disinterest of voters in the Grand-Est? “You don’t always have to try to put explanations everywhere. The abstention gap with certain other regions (Ile-de-France 69%) is not huge either, ”first relativizes the Alsatian political scientist Philippe Breton. “It’s not just the Grand Est that was built in this way. We must, for example, hear the people of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, a region also very large and without much geographic unity. And we have seen it, the candidate, who opposed the most head-on in the Grand-Est, Laurent Jacobelli, did not make a splash. On the contrary, the RN representative was satisfied with 21.12% of the vote, against 36% for his predecessor Florian Philippot in 2015.
“What Alsace? It wouldn’t have changed anything ”
“It would only have been for Alsace that nothing would have changed. Here again, the low score (3.67%) of Unserland, the autonomist party, shows it, continues the one who is also the editorial director of the Observatory of political and social life in Alsace (Ovipal). And I would add that the recent creation of the European Collectivity of Alsace did not have the desired effect. There was no breath around. “
No, Philippe Breton, does not want to set the Grand-Est apart and give it a donkey cap. As everywhere in the territory, the voters did not come out for a deeper disinterest. “There was no campaign, there are almost no more activists … I have been saying this for years, people need a story, a story, a course and that we interests them in the life of the city. Except that we don’t talk to them anymore and we would like them to answer! “
Find all the regional results here