At each legislative election, Haute-Loire is split in two. East of this invisible line drawn from north to south is the first constituency. To the west, on the Brivadois side, the second. Easy. Except when one resides within the city prefecture where the two constituencies divide, even more strongly, the voters.
In fact, unless you have a detailed knowledge of electoral boundaries or are really interested in the ballot (only 33% of French people are passionate about these elections, see in detail opposite), the same question comes up tirelessly every five years: which deputy are we called upon to elect if we live in rue Pannessac or in the Guitard district? That of the first or second constituency of Haute-Loire? A handful of days before the first round (next Sunday, editor’s note), it is high time, if it has not already been done, to study the question. At least, for those who have the firm intention of going to the polls.
In this maze of streets, it’s not always easy to know which side you belong to
To emphasize the line, the old RN 88, from Taulhac to the Simone-Weil high school, serves as a dividing line (see the map opposite), with on its left – Val-Vert side, Pensio district and upper town -, the second constituency, held until then by Jean-Pierre Vigier (Les Républicains), and to his right – Mons side and Intermodal pole – the first, represented by Isabelle Valentin (Les Républicains). If only it were that simple… but no!
In the heart of the city, the electoral division follows winding paths. Without warning, the route leaves Avenue du Maréchal-Foch to join Avenue André-Soulier, then, in its extension, Cours Victor-Hugo. He continues on his way to Place Michelet (in front of the Palais de Justice), crosses Boulevard du Breuil and branches off to the right into Rue Chaussade to catch up with Faubourg Saint-Jean, and take a dip on Boulevard Maréchal-Joffre. In this maze of streets, it is not always easy to know to which side one belongs. Even less so when you live on rue Chaussade, which holds the palme d’or for complexity (see elsewhere).
However, the administrative boundaries as we know them today are not new. They are celebrating their 64th anniversary this year. It was in 1958 that Haute-Loire was split into two districts of unequal size, but of roughly equivalent population.
Before this date, the department had four: Puy-Nord-Ouest, Puy-Sud-Est, Yssingeaux and Brioude. At the time already, the ponot voters were divided. Only under the Second Empire
that all the inhabitants of the prefectural city were called upon to vote for the same deputy. But from there to say that it was better before…
Under the Second Empire, there were already only two constituencies. Haute-Loire was divided into four in 1876, before returning to two constituencies in 1958.
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Division – Legislative: the city of Puy-en-Velay cut in two