His place on the yellow sofa remained empty, but everyone thinks only of him. Taken by his new duties as minister, Stanislas Guerini could not come to the debate between candidates organized on June 1 in the garden of a social center in the 17th arrondissement of Paris by Sytteen, an integration association. “He is taking part in a ceremony at the Invalides with the President of the Republic, justifies his deputy, lawyer Caroline Yadan. But if the voters trust us again, he will remain minister, and I will sit in the Assembly. An insufficient excuse in the eyes of Léa Balage El Mariky, the young ecologist invested by the New Popular Ecological and Social Union (Nupes). “Apparently, Stanislas Guerini has better things to do than talk to the citizens of this constituency,” she says, determined to bring down this deputy who has become a symbol of Macronism.

Barely arrived in government, will Stanislas Guerini have to leave, in accordance with the fate planned by Emmanuel Macron for his beaten ministers? On paper, nothing is won for the head of La République en Marche (LRM) in the 3rd district of northern Paris, straddling the 17th and 18th arrondissements. Undoubtedly the one whose result is the most undecided of the whole capital.

In 2017, carried by the Macronist wave, this former Strauss-Kahnien entered the National Assembly by beating his right-wing competitor, Valérie Nahmias. He won 45.1% of the vote in the first round, and 65.5% in the second. But since then the political landscape has changed. Macronie slowly shifted to the right. As for Stanislas Guerini, he has become boss of the presidential party, and has just been appointed minister of the public service. So much so that at 40 he no longer embodies the young center-left guard determined to modernize the country, but rather a power in place marked in the center right, a new avatar of the Orléanist and liberal right.

« Swing state »

In addition, his clumsy defense of Jérôme Peyrat left its mark. “He’s an honest man, I don’t think he’s capable of violence against women,” said Stanislas Guerini on May 18 to support the majority candidate in Dordogne, convicted of domestic violence and since dismissed. Porte Pouchet, on a wall near the center where the debate is taking place, anonymous feminists have pasted a clear message: “For Stanislas Guerini, a rapist is an honest man. »

Can this leader once again seduce the 70,000 voters in his constituency who, before him, had elected a socialist deputy three times in a row? In the first round of the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron gathered 37% of the votes on the spot, a score slightly higher than his Parisian average. The left won 44.9% of the vote. The rest of the votes were essentially shared between Valérie Pécresse (6%) and the far right (11.9%). This young constituency, where half the population is under 35, is therefore a test. A sort of swing state that the left like LRM can win. The candidates must attract both the inhabitants of the HLM located along the ring road, the bourgeois of the Batignolles and the population in full renewal of the Epinettes.

“The presidential majority has a solid base in this constituency, judge Stanislas Guerini, interviewed after his visit to the Invalides. More than one in three voters trust the president, and this share has increased slightly in five years. If these voters come to vote on June 12 and 19, I will be re-elected. »

To encourage them to do so, the new minister puts forward two arguments. One, he insists on the measures that the government must take “as of this summer” in favor of purchasing power, starting with the food check. Two, he raises the specter of a France of which Jean-Luc Mélenchon would be prime minister. “Europe, NATO, nuclear, pensions… No need to caricature to say that with the far left, we don’t agree on anything. A message capable, he hopes, of mobilizing the social-democratic voters to whom the leader of La France insoumise frightens. “Besides, people like to vote for people who matter,” slips a member of his team.

left union map

Stanislas Guerini, however, faces strong competition. On the right, Alix Bougeret (Les Républicains, LR), first deputy to the LR mayor of the 17th arrondissement, presents herself as “a woman in the field”, coupled with a resolute opponent of Anne Hidalgo. On the left, especially, Léa Balage El Mariky, a young ecologist passed by the Paris City Hall, compensates for her lack of notoriety by playing the card of the union of the left. “Every time the left has united, it has won and obtained social progress,” says this close friend of the national secretary of Europe Ecology-The Greens, Julien Bayou, who now wants to bring Jean-Luc Mélenchon to Matignon and , locally, is fighting against the closure of the Bichat hospital. A measure justified by the merger of this establishment with that of Beaujon to create “a state-of-the-art hospital”, according to LRM, but on the other side of the ring road.

Léa Balage El Mariky obtained the support of Gabrielle Siry-Houari, the socialist who had started campaigning three months ago and had to give way to her as part of the Nupes. Two “small candidates” are nevertheless likely to take a few votes. On the one hand, Olympic athlete Ayodele Ikuesan, supported by Christiane Taubira and former socialist deputy Annick Lepetit. On the other hand, Laurent Baffie. The television host will try to beef up the usual low score of the Animalist Party. His slogan: “If you don’t like politics, vote for animals.” »