Why France's rural populations feel 'abandoned'


The Aube département or county in the north-east of France is a rural area that also has pockets of industrialisation. Here, apart from the 'fake jobs' controversy surrounding right-wing candidate François Fillon, the presidential election campaign seems not to have had much of an impact so far. This has left the far-right Front National to take advantage of the relative indifference of the other candidates towards issues affecting those who live in the French countryside. Mathilde Goanec reports.

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Election campaign, what election campaign? As you make your way across the Aube département or county in north-east France the visible signs of the presidential contest are thin on the ground. The campaign propaganda has barely penetrated the département and campaign posters are few and far between in the villages and hamlets that punctuate the landscape. There is simply a misspelt slogan written angrily in black on the side of a stone shelter built against a tree: “Socialists, dirty bastards.”