In Lozère, the incumbent senator, the socialist Guylène Pantel, was elected in the first round this Sunday, competing against three candidates.
While the vote was taking place on Sunday, September 24th, at the annex prefecture in Faubourg Montbel, many would have bet on it: there would only be one round. A large number of the 358 voters were gathered in front of the polling station and would stay there until the outcome. And the result did not seem to be much of a mystery, judging by the whispers that were going around.
Les grands électeurs pouvaient voter de 8h30 à 11h, et avaient le choix entre quatre candidats : la sénatrice sortante socialiste Guylène Pantel, le divers droite Alain Astruc, le communiste Serge Gayssot et la candidate Génération.s/LFI Michelle Jacques.
Dès le premier tour
And as expected, the verdict came shortly after noon: there would be no second round, as Guylène Pantel had already been elected by majority.
Re-elected, and this is important. Guylène Pantel indeed became a senator by succeeding Alain Bertrand, whom she was a substitute for, upon his death in March 2020. This Sunday, her journey was somewhat validated, a sort of endorsement for her senatorial seat.
« Advocating for rural areas »
If the political observers of Lozère gave her the victory, Guylène Pantel still seemed stressed in the morning. Her team too, who were rallying the latecomers still expected at the polling station: « Every vote counts, we cannot afford to lose one. » At least, she was eagerly awaiting deliverance. « Thank you all for this mobilization. Thank you for allowing me to continue my work, » she addressed the gathered audience once her victory was official. « It will be our fight to continue representing Lozère in Paris, to defend rurality. » She also mentioned having « a very emotional thought for Alain Bertrand who would be very happy to see that we succeeded in winning this election. »
What is the purpose of senators?
The Senate is composed of 348 senators who sit at the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. The Senate and the National Assembly are the two chambers of the French Parliament. Both share legislative power. Like the deputies, senators vote on laws, can submit bills and amendments, and can ask questions to the government… In addition, the Senate represents the territorial collectivities of the Republic. Senators are elected for six renewable years. The Senate is renewed by half every three years. Only half of the senators were elected this Sunday, September 24. The others will be elected in three years.
Finally, the simultaneous dual candidacy on the left, on one hand the communist Serge Gayssot, on the other hand the representative of Génération.s / LFI, did not change much. The big loser in this story may be Alain Astruc, a right-wing independent candidate supported by deputy Pierre Morel-À-L’Huissier. Despite the fragmentation of the left, he was unable to make his mark and advance to the second round. However, he was a good sport and congratulated the winner, just like Serge Gayssot. The fourth candidate seems to be out of sight at this time.
Can we infer from this victory that the support of a Regional President and a Department President carries more weight in comparison to that of the deputy?
Regardless, Guylène Pantel will return to the Senate, along with her group from the European Democratic and Social Gathering (RDSE).