“Macron asked me to keep an eye on Hérault”: how the Renaissance party is launching its decentralization process

On January 28 and 29, activists will designate their departmental representatives. In the Hérault, Minister Patricia Mirallès is committed.

Patricia Miralles as Gérald Darmanin. The Secretary of State for Veterans, also elected from the opposition in Montpellier, is one of the rare members of the government to get involved in the departmental elections of the Renaissance presidential party which are looming at the end of January. Like her colleague from the Interior in the North, she is certain of being elected.

In tandem with the current departmental referent Jérôme Toulza, she leads a list… without an opponent. “I said, from the evening of my election to the legislative elections, and even before I was a minister, that I would take the leadership in the Hérault. The time has come”smiles Mrs. Mirallès.

The click was not enough

The time has come above all to structure the Renaissance house, formerly En Marche. During Emmanuel Macron’s first term, the movement which claimed hundreds of thousands of members (up to 400,000), registered with a simple click on the internet, did not find its local anchorage. As proof: the flop during the 2020 municipal elections, in Montpellier (6.1% for the deputy Vignal) as everywhere else.

A board of directors

Six months after the creation of Renaissance, the party began its transformation. Or rather its decentralization. Until then, it was Paris that appointed the departmental referents, now the activists will vote to appoint “like a departmental board of directors”which will then elect its president and federate the troops.

And if in the Hérault, the ministerial aura of Patricia Mirallès and the interpersonal skills of the outgoing Jérôme Toulza have removed any inclination, elsewhere, in the Gard and the Aude for example, or even in Haute-Garonne, there will be two lists with different currents. Would the Macronist party become a party like the others?

build the house

“Non”nuances the minister. “We organize ourselves as political parties can organize themselves, but there is a common wish to reach out to others, to listen and to give way to everyone. I was an activist for a long time, I know what it is, we have to train people, allow them to participate, to get involved on a list. This is our objective: to structure ourselves to bring citizens to us and allow the talents we have in our ranks to emerge”. And win, finally, intermediate elections.

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The task is great. Especially since, now that membership is paid (30€), Renaissance can no longer claim a bloated army. They were only 27,000 to enthrone Stéphane Séjourné at the head of the party in September and the Hérault, for example, has 400 militants. “But the average high”assures Jérôme Toulza. “But we will open the doors”. And then, it will be necessary to deal with all sensitivities: Agir and Territoires de Progrès in addition to the ex-En Marche…and the partners that are Horizons and MoDem. “They will have their guest room in the house we are building,” assure the architect Patricia Mirallès.

Jupiterian assent?

Discussions will perhaps be easier between local people than at the national level. This will be all the more necessary since the departmental presidency will also have the task of deciding on nominations during the elections, except in towns with more than 60,000 inhabitants. The mission of departmental president will therefore be very political. With Jupiter’s consent? “Emmanuel Macron asked me to keep an eye on Hérault and Montpellier”, replies his minister. Decentralization always starts from Paris.



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