Internet InfoMedia in the french countryside a deep discontent takes root
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In northern Burgundy, services have collapsed and the far-right National Rally has risen.

Last month, Sophie-Laurence Roy, a conservative Paris lawyer with roots in Burgundy, decided to cross the political dividing line that defined postwar France and dedicate herself to a nationalist, far-right political movement that seems poised to dominate parliamentary elections on Sunday.

“I realized I would reproach myself for the rest of my life if I did not offer my services to the great movement of change that is the National Rally,” she said as she ate a sausage of pork intestines in a cafe in Chablis, the northern Burgundy town known for its fine white wine. “It was now or never.”

So, on June 9, Ms. Roy, 68, deserted her longtime center-right political family, the Republicans, who trace their beliefs to the wartime hero Charles de Gaulle, to support Marine Le Pen’s far-right party whose quasi-fascist roots lie with the collaborationist Vichy regime against which De Gaulle fought to liberate France.

How could she cross such a chasm? “My problem is not the past, it’s tomorrow,” Ms. Roy, who is now a candidate allied with the National Rally in the largest constituency of the Yonne district, which includes Chablis, said dismissively. “People are suffering.”

“My problem is not the past, it’s tomorrow,” Ms. Roy said of her decision to run as a National Rally candidate.Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Some 9.3 million people voted for the National Rally in the first round of the election last weekend, more than double the 4.2 million in the first round of parliamentary elections in 2022. Spread across most regions in France, they included workers and pensioners, the young and the old, women and men. Tired of the status quo, they came together to roll the dice for change.

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