Senatorial elections: almost impossible mission for LFI candidates

“Mathematics works against us”, recognizes, lucidly, Bally Bagayoko

Senatorial elections: almost impossible mission for LFI candidates

“Mathematics works against us”, recognizes, lucidly, Bally Bagayoko. The candidate of La France insoumise in the senatorial elections in Seine-Saint-Denis knows that here as in all the other departments affected by Sunday's elections, his party's chances are almost zero.

But that doesn't stop the former deputy mayor of Saint-Denis, 50, from campaigning until the end.

Wednesday evening, during a meeting in the town hall of Romainville, he presented his list in a large reception room which was very empty for the occasion: only around ten rebellious activists or sympathizers were present.

It must be said that the senatorial elections, an indirect election, do not excite the crowds since only the electors, elected officials, can vote there.

A voting method which penalizes La France insoumise, which has few local elected officials.

The refusal of an alliance by ecologists, socialists and communists sounded the death knell for the rebellious hopes of winning a first seat in the upper house of Parliament. Jean-Luc Mélenchon himself was a senator for 20 years, but was elected there under the socialist label.

“It takes courage to be there,” whispers an activist to the candidates seated in front of him. Another supporter explains that he supports the rebellious party because he is “disappointed with the Communist Party” and “its lack of representation of the working classes” in the suburbs.

Bally Bagayoko, for his part, says he wants to "create a surprise" and hopes that his LFI list will be rewarded with a "union bonus". Since June, with his running mates, they have spoken with more than a hundred left-wing voters.

“Each party holds its elected officials, but we try to recover those who are a little free,” summarizes Pilar Serra, Bally Bagayoko’s running mate.

“Many major socialist or environmentalist voters are saddened by this disagreement,” assures the candidate, in reference to the six left-wing lists present in the senatorial elections in 93.

“There are plenty of great voters who free themselves from all that in the voting booth,” he also says.

The election of the first LFI senator could have been possible in the event of agreement from the left in Puy-de-Dôme.

But in Seine-Saint-Denis, given the latest electoral results, it would have been particularly symbolic: the poorest department in France voted almost 50% for Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2022.

Above all, Nupes achieved a solid success in the last legislative elections: all twelve deputies are from the left, with nine seats for La France insoumise.

A rebellious senator would make it possible to “correct an imperfection” in the eyes of Bally Bagayoko: the fact that the UDI and the right currently hold three of the six senatorial positions in the department.

The candidate says he still believes in it: the major voters "will moderately appreciate that certain left-wing parties (PS and PCF, editor's note) are not calling for the march on September 23 when we look at the situation in Seine-Saint-Denis regarding the violence police officers,” he predicts.

According to his estimates, he would need a little more than 200 votes to win a senatorial post. On this Wednesday evening, the man who is also an executive in the RATP group thinks he has around 90.

In the event of defeat, "we will have marked the championship by our presence, our values ​​and the content we carry", he philosophizes, spinning the sporting metaphor.

Above all, Mr. Bagayoko, of Malian origin, cannot help but note that "the constituencies that are winnable in advance are generally not offered to us, people from diverse backgrounds."

“We are still often asked to be candidates for dead-end operations, I am perfectly aware of that,” he smiles.

As a symbol, the mayor of Romainville, François Dechy, an EELV supporter, came to greet and wish good luck to the rebellious candidates before their meeting. Before quickly leaving: his vote is already promised to another left-wing list.

21/09/2023 16:14:22 -        Romainville (France) (AFP) -        © 2023 AFP