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Presidential: Rennes, the Large Provincial City sulky with the FN

ELECTION: In the first round, Le Pen had collected 6.7% of the votes …

  • After Paris, Rennes is the largest city in France with the least voted for the FN
  • The Front National party always makes small scores in the Breton capital

In the first round of the presidential election, Marine Le Pen collected just 6.7% of the votes in Rennes. After Paris, the capital of Brittany is the largest city in France with the least voted for the FN candidate. She even puts in fifth position behind Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, François Fillon and even behind Benoît Hamon. How to explain this oddity?

“Rennes has always been reluctant to the ideas of the Front National”

“Rennes is a city of intellectuals, academics. It has always been reluctant to the ideas of the Front National, “concedes Gerard Mellon. The Regional Adviser for the FN had led the Front National list in the municipal elections for  Rennes in 2014. With 8.37%, the applicant had failed to achieve the 10% needed to integrate the city council. “But we have made great progress. In 2008, there was no list of FN candidates, “says Gerard Mellon.


In Ille-et-Vilaine, the party saw its score rise sharply, especially since the arrival in power of Gilles Pennelle. The Fougerais managed to bring his party to the Regional Council of Brittany, normally hostile to the extreme right. “Brittany is no longer a land of mission” likes also to remind Gilles Pennelle .

Holding the reins of the city since 2014, Nathalie Appéré (PS) said for his part that “the humanist tradition of Rennes’ may explain the low popularity of the FN. “Rennes is a city committed to moderation, to debate, to intelligence, to live together. The issue of respect for others is paramount, “said the Socialist.

“A lower unemployment”

Lecturer at Rennes 2, political scientist Thomas Frinault adds a socio-economic dimension to this societal dam. ”  Unemployment is lower than in the rest of France. Brittany has not experienced the industrial shock as the North or the East. “The associations, dense, also advanced as an argument, like social diversity, for which the Breton capital is often cited as an example .

“A Catholic tradition”

In its analysis, Thomas Frinault added that Brittany, and in particular Rennes, keep “a Catholic tradition that permeates the vote of the people.” “We have been a land of emigration, which also suffered discrimination. This makes Bretons hostile to xenophobia and closure, “said the Mayor Nathalie Appéré. “But things are changing,” he warns.

The Breton capital has also the distinction of harboring virulent movement of the extreme left , always quick to mobilize against the far right. In 2014, an urban guerrilla had played on the sidelines of a meeting of the National Front. “There are idiots who think it is a good way to fight against the FN. I think it’s the opposite, “tackle a local elected official.

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