If the agitation was not likely to disturb the placidity of the Prim’Holstein calves from the farm of Élise and Olivier Chaventré, it is nonetheless unusual for this battle around the 6th district of Calvados. And no doubt that the status of candidate Elisabeth Borne, appointed Prime Minister last Monday, is not unrelated to this situation.
To this new cap is added for Ms. Borne the trial and error of a first campaign under her name, without room for error since a failure would undoubtedly sign the premature termination of her lease at Matignon. “But I put myself in the logic of this campaign with the objective of winning,” she sweeps, a bit annoyed.
It is therefore with application that the former Minister of Labor surveyed her Normandy on Saturday, engaging in the imposed figures of any local campaign. Starting with a meeting with a milk producer – his hundred cows produce 740,000 liters per year – who has stirred up all the reasons for concern of the moment, between drought, increase in the price of raw materials, “attacks of crows” on corn…
“For six months we have been experiencing fluctuations like we have never experienced in the price of milk. To stay the course is not easy”, testifies Mr. Chaventré, before guiding Mrs. Borne towards the milking parlour.
In the operation, where her competitor from the Debout la France party eager to take advantage of the media lights was opportunely invited, Ms. Borne also defended herself from the accusations of parachuting, stressing that “Calvados is the cradle of (s)a family”.
Originally from Livarot, a few tens of kilometers further east in the Pays d’Auge, is she the child of the country? “No”, agrees the current LREM deputy for the Alain Touret constituency, “but I am convinced that the transplant will be done”.
– “Violently moderate” –
Elected three times on these rural lands, whose capital is Vire (15,000 inhabitants), Mr. Touret says he is “proud” to pass on to the Prime Minister the keys to this constituency where “the National Front breaks through on the purchasing power , combined with mobility difficulties”. “But it is also said that the Normans are violently moderate”, he jokes, recalling having won the bet in 2017 with 68% of the vote, “the best score in all of the West” for the presidential majority.
Strolling through the streets of Villers-Bocage, leaflet in hand, Ms. Borne praises the merits of learning, local shops, slips a few banalities on the Covid crisis or tourist attendance, and admits that “he there’s work” to a lady who whispers in his ear: “We’re counting on you”.
“Congratulations, it’s nice that a woman has been appointed head of France”, another local elected official told him when he arrived at the “eco-responsible” festival in Chicheboville. There, against the background of bossa nova, wind turbines on the horizon, Mme Borne slaloms between the capitals, signs an autograph for little Johan at the Rural Families stand, swallows a glass of “Meuh cola” produced in Normandy, and promises that “c is a lasting commitment” that she “wishes to have in Calvados”.
A classic work of a candidate, which she intends to reproduce as much as possible by the first round on June 12. By then, she will present her proposals, and “the way in which we decline Emmanuel Macron’s program in this constituency”.
Freshly constituted, and meeting for the first time Monday in the Council of Ministers, the government is also entering a period of electoral reserve, which limits travel and announcements to the strict minimum. A time that Ms. Borne wishes to exploit as much to prepare future bills, including a package of purchasing power measures, as to invest her role as “majority leader” by going to support other candidates.