Despite the business, Gérald Darmanin remains strong at the polls in Tourcoing

For Gérald Darmanin, the elections follow one another and are similar to Tourcoing. Arrived at the head (39.08%) on Sunday in the first round of the legislative elections in the 10th constituency of the North, the current Minister of the Interior (Together!) is on track to win his mandate as a deputy against Leslie Mortreux ( Nupes) whom he will face in the second round.

It’s simple, since 2012, Darmanin has won every election he has run for. Deputy, mayor, vice president of the MEL, general councilor, regional councilor, the elect has exercised in ten years all possible and unimaginable mandates. Barely 40 years old, the northerner has managed to firmly anchor himself in the second city of the Lille metropolis.

A right-wing man elected in a left-wing city

“All these mandates have allowed him to be in contact with a large number of voters and play a liaison role between the different institutions and all other elected officials. This allowed him to maintain relationships with voters who secure their votes at the local level while positioning himself against other candidates at the national level”, explains political scientist Tristan Haute.

This is the whole Darmanin paradox. This right-wing man, born into politics as RPR parliamentary assistant Christian Vanneste, became mayor of a city historically anchored on the left in 2014. In the last presidential election, the Tourquennois even placed Jean-Luc Mélenchon far ahead of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. But is it really a feat to see Darmanin relax on leftist lands?

Business hasn’t really weakened him at the polls.

“Tourcoing is less of a bastion of the left than Roubaix. And the 10 North district is quite marked on the right, ” Tristan Haute clarifies. “It is a very popular city where abstention has risen a lot in recent years. It is a city that has almost the same industrial history and is as uneven as Roubaix. But its migratory history is less marked than in Roubaix”, continues the professor of political science at the University of Lille.

Even so, Darmanin seems to resist all the cases that stick to his skin at the polls. Accused of rape since 2017 by a woman, the minister received a dismissal requested by the Paris prosecutor’s office on January 12, 2022. Another file for abuse of weakness on another woman was dismissed in 2018. Not counting the latest controversy over the falsification of the Stade de France Tickets. Stories without consequences… or almost during the elections.

Full results of the first round here

Disconnection between the local and the national

“There is always a form of disconnection between the national and the local. Darmanin’s establishment dates back to before his national notoriety and business. That may explain why he manages to attract votes on him. Even if his score in the first round of the legislative elections is a mixed success. For example, he is only two points ahead of his competitor Nupes in the Tourquennoise part of the 10th arrondissement, which is a real surprise”, concludes Tristan Haute.

In a context of weakening macronies at the national level, Darmanin remains the big favorite in the 2nd round in his constituency. But the hardest part could well begin for a minister who has not yet experienced electoral failure.